FERGUS – Police officials say no one will be charged in connection with a recent threat to “shoot up” Centre Wellington District High School (CWDHS).
“The investigation has concluded and no charges will be laid,” Wellington OPP spokesperson Josh Cunningham stated in a Dec. 8 email to the Advertiser.
On the evening of Dec. 1, someone posted on Snapchat that they were going to “shoot up” the Fergus school “with a Glock 23” the following day.
“I’m done with the stress of the community has put on me [sic],” the person wrote on the messaging app.
The school remained open on Dec. 2 and there was an “increased police presence” at the school that day, police said.
CWDHS staff kept students in classrooms and limited the number of students in hallways and washrooms.
One week later, after requests from the Advertiser for an update, Cunningham confirmed the investigation is closed.
“Somebody, somewhere definitely put the wheels in motion that caused students and staff at the school to feel threatened,” he acknowledged.
But, “The evidence gleaned from the investigation did not support charges.”
Asked if police know who made the threat on Snapchat, Cunningham replied, “Investigators have not identified any persons that could be charged with the offence.”
Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) spokesperson Heather Loney called the outcome “disappointing.”
“This is an extremely serious matter that has caused a great deal of stress and worry in the community,” Loney stated in a Dec. 8 email.
“Many questions remain unanswered about who is responsible for posting the message, so it is disappointing that this person has not been identified, which would allow for the proper next steps to follow from the authorities.”
She said the board and school have also “been unable to identify who posted the message,” but will continue to investigate the matter.
“It is our understanding that the police contacted Snapchat for their assistance in identifying the account, but have been unable to determine the identity of the person who posted it,” Loney told the Advertiser.
School and board officials ask anyone with information to contact the school.
Loney also reiterated UGDSB staff “will be reviewing our messaging guidelines in the new year.”
Some parents were upset they were not told about the threat at the school until after their children were already dropped off for the day on Dec. 2.
Last week a Guelph teen was arrested after making a similar threat on the wall of a College Heights Secondary School bathroom in Guelph on Nov 29.
That message also threatened to “shoot up the school,” although it was more specific about weapons and the number of students and teachers that would be killed.
The next day a 17-year-old male was arrested, but on Dec. 1 Guelph Police announced he would not be charged.
The teen was “cautioned for mischief and uttering threats” and “referred the youth to the John Howard Society’s pre-charge diversion program instead of laying criminal charges,” stated a Guelph Police press release.
“Police do not believe there was ever any risk to the involved school community.”