METHUEN, Mass. - A heightened police presence was expected at Tenney Middle School on Tuesday, after authorities say they arrested a 12-year-old student for threatening to "shoot up" the school.
The Methuen boy, who is in the fifth grade, was charged with making threats to a school and threatening to commit murder. He was not identified because he is a juvenile.
On Monday, the school principal informed a school resource officer of a threat posted as a reply to a post on the school's official Instagram social media account.
The post threatened to "shoot up" the school. It also targeted a specific employee at the school, police said.
Police tracked down the owner of the account. The boy was then arrested and booked before being released into the custody of his mother.
Methuen Officer Michael Havey Jr. and his K-9, Rumi, were among officers who searched the boy's home on Monday. No weapons were found.
In a statement, Methuen Mayor James Jajuga praised students and parents who saw something and said something.
"Our community is the eyes and ears of law enforcement, and the partnerships developed between our police officers and community members are strong, as indicated by the actions tonight that brought a swift and safe end to this disturbing incident," Jajuga said.
Law enforcement and school officials worked together to keep the school community safe, Methuen Schools Superintendent Brandi Kwong said in a statement.
“We are deeply grateful for the students and parents who came forward with the information and contacted school administration as we take these matters very seriously," Kwong said. "Our school staff in conjunction with the Methuen Police Department reacted swiftly to the situation for the safety of our staff and students.”
The boy is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday in Lawrence Juvenile Court.
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