COLUMBIA, Mo. - UPDATE: The Columbia Police Department released a statement with details on the threatening Facebook post and their response.
Police say the Facebook "threatened to shoot [Hickman Highschool] students and included a racial slur."
Upon learning about the threat, officers reached out to the account holder, who denied writing the post. The account holder said that his phone had been stolen, possibly by a 15-year-old who had been in his home within the past 24 hours.
The account holder also said they confronted the 15-year-old suspect about the stolen phone. Police say it is possible that "the threat was simply retaliation for the suspect being confronted about stealing the phone," but the investigation is ongoing.
The Facebook post was also shared on Snapchat, according to the statement.
The 15-year-old suspect was taken into custody on suspicion of "Making a Terroristic Threat-Felony, Stealing-Felony, Tampering With Physical Evidence-Felony, as well as the additional enhancement for Hate Crimes-Felony as provided in RSMo 557.035," according to the statement.
ORIGINAL: A student at Hickman High School is possibly facing legal consequences after they allegedly used another student's phone to post a threat mentioning the high school through that student's social media account, according to a letter from Hickman High School's principal.
The letter was sent Saturday morning and reads:
"I want to make you aware of an incident that occurred last night. I want to provide you with accurate information and discourage rumors.
"Last night, at approximately 9 p.m. a threat mentioning Hickman High School was reported to the school and law enforcement. The threat was posted to social media by a student using another student’s phone and social media account without permission from the student whose account and phone were used. Law enforcement conducted an investigation and took the student who posted the threat in to custody late last night. While the threat has determined not to be credible, the school district is taking appropriate disciplinary action and the juvenile faces legal consequences. A news release with specific information on charges will be sent out by law enforcement later today.
"Please know that the safety of our students and staff is always our number one priority. We take it seriously. We are grateful to the police department for its continued vigilance in keeping our schools safe and we are grateful that individuals in our school-community continue to do the right thing and report anything they see or hear that makes them feel unsafe in anyway. Even if the posts or threats are determined not to be credible, it is imperative that we encourage students to report information so that we can continue to keep all of our schools safe havens.
"Please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask questions."
At this time, law enforcement has not sent a press release. This story will update once more information is available.