A teenager has been detained after allegedly posting a disturbing threat on Snapchat about opening fire on a school.
Sunday, the 14-year-old allegedly posted a photo of what seemed to be a semi-automatic gun with the comment “Shooting up Playford” on Snapchat.
The purported threat pertained to Playford International College, one of the largest public institutions in South Australia.
The post had the captions “Nooo what, I’m not going to school tomorrow” and “is this genuine or a joke?”
On Monday, the police said that they had identified the claimed author of the message and arrested a kid from the northern Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth Downs.
Officers discovered a gel blaster during a search of his residence, which authorities claim was the alleged firearm depicted in the image.
The teen has been charged with creating a false belief and illegally having a handgun.
He will be required to appear at a later date before the Elizabeth Youth Court.
Gel blasters, which discharge liquid-filled pellets, can appear almost identical to standard weapons.
In South Australia, they are prohibited without a valid guns license.
While the school did not issue a public warning about the Snapchat, parents posted it online, prompting police to reassure the school community on Sunday that they had no “immediate worries” for the safety of students and faculty.
Monday, however, precautionary police patrols were dispatched to the school, which also employs security guards.
Other parents who learned of the claimed threat after the start of the school day raced to get their children.
Heather Nicolson told Seven News as she picked up her kid, ‘It’s extremely terrifying because you honestly don’t know.’
Tao Mills stated that he hurried to the school to take up his son after seeing parents share the social media post.
Mills stated, “(I) called the principle and she told me, “It’s all a scam, everything is fine”… but I picked him up anyhow… you can’t take a chance.”
“There’s a woman in there crying because she’s so scared about her child,” he continued, adding that he was angry the school did not notify parents about the alleged event.
Education Minister Blair Boyer stated that he was informed of the tweet at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Sunday and that it was “clearly extremely alarming.”
On Monday, he stated, ‘We take threats of this nature very seriously, regardless of whether they are a hoax or not, and there is no space for error.’
In 2016, Playford International College, which has 1,447 enrolled students in 2022, was allegedly the target of a bomb threat.