SPRINGVILLE — For the third time this week, police have arrested a Utah student for allegedly making a school shooting threat.
The latest incident occurred Thursday when a Springville High School student was arrested after a Snapchat post was discovered "that suggested a threat of violence at the high school," according to a statement from Springville police.
Springville Police Lt. Warren Foster said the social media post included a picture of a person holding a gun, along with a message that suggested violence. The threat was a general one, he said, and did not specifically name anyone. Foster did not know Thursday if the picture was a selfie of the student or just a stock image.
Police located the student inside the school and arrested him.
"During the interview he had actually said it was a joke. I think his exact words were, 'a dark joke.' But we didn't see it as a joke at all," Foster said.
Police do not believe the student had any intention of carrying out the threat. Nevertheless, officers went to his house where the boy and his parents voluntarily handed over the boy's Airsoft gun, he said.
"In wake of what's going on across the nation, and the mere fact he's a student at a school, we take this very seriously. It's not a joke. As much as somebody might think it's funny, it's definitely not a joke," the lieutenant said.
The student was booked into the Slate Canyon Detention Center for investigation of making a terroristic threat and other potential charges.
The incident marked the third arrest or citation handed out to a Utah student this week for making threats. All come on the heels of the school shooting in Florida that killed 17 as well as an incident last month at Jordan High School when a 17-year-old allegedly posted on social media about a possible mass shooting and bombing at the school that created panic among students and teachers, prompting many to stay home from school.4 comments on this story
On Tuesday, a student at Sandy's Eastmont Middle School who was apparently upset about a friend who had been expelled from the school, posted a comment on social media to the effect of getting revenge by shooting up the school, said Sandy Police Sgt. Jason Nielsen. Police do not believe the threat was legitimate. The student was cited for investigation of making a false alarm.
On Wednesday, a Wasatch High School student was arrested and accused of threatening gun violence.
In each case, police say each arrest was the result of students and parents speaking up and contacting authorities when they saw or heard something alarming.