Palm Bay police deem threat of 'massacre' at school not credible

Officials say threat originated in another country

PALM BAY, Fla. – Palm Bay police said an investigation has shown that a threat of a "massacre" at a middle school is not credible.

A social media post about "the southwest massacre" originated outside the United States, but circulated via Snapchat, prompting concerns that the threat was targeting Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay, police said.

"We have no facts to substantiate that it’s a credible threat," said Palm Bay police spokesman Mike Bandish, adding that several agencies, including the Joint Terrorism Task Force, were part of the investigation.

The message said, "The southwest massacre is coming. I have planned this for 2 years staying in this hell hole and now I will make everyone rot in it. My first victim is a girl ... She is the fairest of all of the girls and no one deserves her, so I have decided to take her away from the trash this school is and the trash life is. She doesn't deserve anyone, only myself. Don't take this as a joke. It will happen. Watch out for the 17th."

Police said extra patrols will stay at and around the school as a precaution.

“This school will be really safe today. We’ll be all over it,” Bandish said.

Police said parents should know that they take any threat seriously until it's proven otherwise.

"We're going to do everything to protect our kids," Bandish said.

Other Central Florida schools have dealt with recent threats, including Windermere High in Orange County and Timber Creek High, where a girl was arrested on felony charges after threatening messages were found in a bathroom.

Authorities are also investigating a threat Flagler Palm Coast HIgh School, where graffiti was found on a bathroom wall. 

"We immediately notified the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. We are currently working with them to determine who has made the threat," school officials said. "You’ll see a greater, visible presence by the FCSO on the FPC campus (on Friday). Student safety is our primary concern, and we are taking all the steps necessary to ensure that safety is not compromised."

Officials encouraged parents to talk to their children about the seriousness of making threats and reporting suspicious activity.

Palm Bay Police giving an update on threat at Southwest Middle School. Story: https://www.clickorlando.com/news/palm-bay-police-investigate-school-threat

Posted by Mark Lehman - News 6 on Friday, November 17, 2017

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