Juvenile Taken into Custody in Punxsutawney after Threats of Gun Violence on Instagram

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT) – A 14-year-old male was taken into custody after threats of violence were discovered on a social media site.

Punxsutawney-based State Police were alerted to posts made to Instagram – a mobile, desktop, and Internet-based photo-sharing application and service, owned by Facebook, that allows users to share pictures and videos either publicly or privately to pre-approved followers.

These posts included photos a known 14-year-old juvenile brandishing a handgun and a simulated rifle/long gun. The text which accompanied the posts inferred that gun violence would be committed against other students.

Police say the incident occurred sometime between March 6 and March 12.

The male juvenile was taken into custody, and he admitted to making the posts in an effort to keep some students from bullying him any longer. He was charged and taken into the custody of the Jefferson County Juvenile Probation Department.

According to a release posted on the Punxsutawney Area School District website, High School Principal Jeff Long stated, “Late this afternoon district administration learned of threatening remarks posted to social media regarding students at Punxsutawney Area High School. PA State Police were informed and became involved immediately. While the investigation is still ongoing, the student who allegedly posted these statements is currently being addressed and faces serious charges.”

“I would like to take time to thank district students who have taken our safety and security message to heart and have reported threatening behavior and statements. This is what we have asked of our students, and those brave enough to do so have made our students safer as a result. They are to be commended. We remain committed to safety and security within our schools, and I ask that students remain alert and report further threats as well. Thank you for your continuing help and support.”


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