Crime

This Kennewick school shooting threat was fictional. Social media fanned the rumor

A rumor that there would be a school shooting at Kamiakin High School turned out to be a total fabrication

Kennewick police and Kamiakin High School administrators learned about a rumor that a student was going to shoot students Wednesday.  The rumor was a result of people bullying a classmate, authorities said.

During a discussion among students Tuesday, someone said one of the teens was going to shoot up the school. The rumor was shared to social media and spread rapidly, said Sgt. Aaron Clem.

After a quick investigation, officials learned the teen involved never made a threat, and a fellow student never said he did. The teen also didn’t have any access to firearms.

“We take all threats seriously and conducted a full investigation,” Kamiakin administrators said in an email to parents. “We encourage parents to discuss the implications of making false statements and accusations on social media with their children.”

Police are asking people to report threats to them rather than on social media, Clem said.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and higher education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.


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