HHS Shooting Threat Pupil Appears in Court

The 16-year-old who used social media to post a Haverhill High School shooting threat appeared in Essex County Juvenile Court in Lawrence Tuesday.

The minor, not named because of his age, was charged with “false threat of a gun or hoax device that may be present and causes anxiety,” according to Haverhill Police Lt. Robert Pistone. The Haverhill High School junior used Twitter to post a false message at about 9:30, Monday night.

“Ha I know who is going to shoot up the school tomorrow…at least I’m cool with ‘em,” the post reported, according to Haverhill School Superintendent James F. Scully.

Because of the student’s large social media circle, concerned parents called the police. Scully first told WHAV yesterday an arrest came quickly.

“Within an hour or two, police had the student in custody. The student had no possession of any weapons…he was arrested to the best of my knowledge,” The superintendent and police said extra security and police were on hand at Haverhill High School.

Principal Beth Kitsos notified parents at 6:30 in the morning by the school department’s AlertNOW system. Scully also sent a letter via the system to parents Tuesday afternoon.

“At no time during the police investigation did they find any reason to suggest there could be a violent incident at the high school,” Scully wrote. He concluded by saying, “I wanted  to  write  to  you  today  to  confirm  that  these  events,  which  you  may  have  heard about today, did in fact happen. I also wanted to let you know that I am reassured by the results of the HPD investigation that there is not nor was there any reason for alarm regarding the safety or wellbeing of students or staff in or around Haverhill High School today.”

At least one parent was worried about the threat. “The principle just said in the message this morning that there had been a tweet out last night by a student and that the HPD were handling the situation. Very vague, I did not want to send my son to school today!”