A social media threat towards South Jones High School led to the arrest of a 14-year-old boy by the Jones County Sheriff’s Department.
At a press conference Monday morning, Jones County Sheriff Joe Berlin, along with Investigator J.D. Carter, and Deputy Superintendent B.R. Jones spoke.
“On Saturday, January 8, 2022, I received a text message from the superintendent of Jones County, Mr. Tommy Parker about a threat that was made towards South Jones High School,” said Sheriff Berlin. “I immediately transferred the text over to my Sergeant of Investigations and within an hour and 45 minutes we had a 14-year-old in custody.”
“I would like to say that we are not going to put up with threats made to students, faculty, or any of our other high schools or elementary schools. You will be prosecuted to the fullest extent,” said Sheriff Berlin.
“The threat said that a shooting would happen on May 25,” said Inv. Carter. “The threat was towards the students and faculty of South Jones High School.”
The 14-year-old will be charged in youth court where the judge will hand out the proper charges. According to officials, the student had been removed from South Jones in October of 2021.
I want to reiterate that I appreciate our parents and students that came forward and reported this to the faculty and staff of South Jones,” said Jones. “As soon as we were alerted to the threat, our superintendent got with Sheriff Berlin and it was brought to a conclusion very, very soon. Our number one goal is the safety and security of our students, faculty, staff, and schools.”
“He was a former student of South Jones. He was a student at South Jones prior to being pulled in October,” said Sheriff Berlin.
When asked about the nature of the threat, Sheriff Berlin stated that he posted on social media that he would “shoot up the school and anybody that was at the school, he was going to kill.”
Sheriff Berlin also said this was the first threat in a while that any Jones County school had received.
“Any threat against shooting up a school is credible to me,” added Sheriff Berlin.
According to Inv. Carter, the youth court had the former student in detention for ‘terroristic threats.’
Officials said that they did not know why he chose May 25 and that there was no apparent motive. Officials did not comment on why he was pulled from South Jones High School.