Sumter County middle school student charged for threats to ‘shoot up’ school

SUMTER, SC (WBTW) – The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office says a 14-year-old student was arrested Tuesday after he reportedly threatened to “shoot up” Hillcrest Middle School on an Instagram post.

According to Deputy Ken Bell with the sheriff’s office, the male student will be petitioned to family court on charges of disturbing schools, aggravated breach of peace and threatening the life of a public employee, principal or teacher. In the meantime, he has been released to his parents, the release from Deputy Bell said.

The student posted on Instagram and the message quickly spread Monday night, deputies say. On Tuesday morning, parents were debating whether or not to allow their children to go to school.

Sumter County authorities patrolled the halls of the school and investigators questioned students who responded to the post to determine if there was a credible threat. Tuesday afternoon, investigators were able to determine who posted the threat.

“We are glad we were able to quickly determine who sent the message,” said Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis. “We thank the principal and administrators at Hillcrest for aiding us today. Although this appears to have been a prank, we have to take these calls seriously. Unfortunately, this young man made a decision that may result in serious charges. We are just glad no one was hurt.”

The boy had no criminal history and was “not a problem student,” the release says.