Teen Arrested For Using App To Threaten Classmates Said It Would 'Be Bigger Than Columbine', Sheriff Says
BRANDON TWP. (WWJ) - A Ortonville teen is in trouble with the law after allegedly using a smartphone app to threaten classmates at Brandon High School.
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said 17-year-old, who was arrested Wednesday morning, used the popular "After School" app to make his threats — posting, "Tomorrow I'm gonna shoot and kill every last one of you, and it's going to be bigger than Columbine...Death to you all."
Bouchard said the posts included pictures of person holding a pump shotgun with the words:"Bang bang Brandon, bang bang."
Posts to the "After School — Funny Anonymous School News For Confessions and Compliments" app were supposed to be anonymous, but authorities obtained a subpoena.
Bouchard said the app-maker has been cooperating with investigators and that the student will face felony charges when he is arraigned on Thursday.
"It'll be one of two, if not both: act of terrorism, which is a 20-year (felony), or using the Internet for this activity, in this manner, (which is) also a 10-year felony," Bouchard said. "So there'll be serious charges."
Bouchard said that the teen did have access to weapons. His name has not yet been released.
The Brandon School District's superintendent sent a note to parents Wednesday morning announcing the arrest and thanking the Sheriff's department for its work on the case.
"As we move forward from this event, this may be great time to talk to your sons and daughters about social media. There is nothing that is truly anonymous in this forum and their involvement in social media needs to be very responsible," said Superintendent Matthew Outlaw.
"...We will continue to learn and adapt as a school system," he added.
MLive reported Brandon students had a "snow day" of sorts Tuesday, because so many students stayed home or went home because of the threats. While students were let in through one entrance over the past couple days, the district is returning to its normal security measures.
Officials from Oakland County and Livingston County school districts warned parents of about the app which they said was being used by students across the country for bullying and harassment and by pranksters attempting to get school canceled. It was available for free for iPhone, iPad and iPod through the iTunes store, but has since been pulled.
This latest comes after, last week, a gun threat on the same app regarding Flushing High School led to the arrest of 18-year-old student Neil Bindschatel. He's charged with malicious use of a telecommunications device.
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