Threats in New Jersey Following the Parkland Shooting: February to March 2018
February 14th Stoneman Douglas High School - A mass shooting occurred at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Seventeen people were killed and 17 more people were wounded, making it one of the world's deadliest school massacres. Nikolas Cruz the gunman, was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 attempted murders. Police have not yet found a motive and they are investigating, “a pattern of disciplinary issues and unnerving behavior.”
February 15th Voorhees High School Threat - Jacob Finkelstein, of Voorhees township was arrested on February 15th and charged with second-degree false public alarm and third-degree terroristic threat after claiming he was going to “shoot up the school.” Finkelstein had allegedly been making a false threat claim during schools hours. No weapons were found in his home.
February 15th West Deptford High School Threat - Travis Stanback, Latoya Bryson and Quamaine Jackson made a bomb threat to West Deptford High School in order to monitor police response to the school in anticipation of the bank robbery. Stanback admitted to police he used a prepaid cell phone to call in bomb threat to West Deptford High School. Stanback, Bryson and Jackson robbed BB&T bank of $137,000.
February 15th Franklin High School Threat - In Franklin, Superintendent of Schools, John Ravally, posted a notice on the district website about a social media threat made to one of the schools. "Working with the Franklin Township Police Department we were able to determine in a short time that our schools were in no imminent danger. The student involved has been arrested, charged and removed from the school," Ravally's message states. Police said a 14-year-old boy was taken into custody and charged with terroristic threats, a third-degree crime, possessed and released to his parents. School officials have also suspended the student from school.
February 15th Nutley High School Threat - Nutley High School student, Joseph Rafanello, was charged with creating a false public alarm and taken to Essex County jail. Superintendent, Dr. Julie Gazer, stated that he will not be returning to school. A video posted on Instagram hinting towards gun violence did not appear to pose an immediate danger to any school within the district. Nutley School district canceled school and activities for Friday February 16th to investigate the threat with the police.
February 15th and 16th Jefferson Township Threats - In the first case, a 14-year-old student at Jefferson Township High School was charged with disorderly conduct on February 15th following an investigation into “implied threats” made by the boy against schools and students. The next day, February 16th, a 13-year-old Jefferson Township Middle school student was charged with cyber harassment and creating a false public alarm after the teen allegedly made threats against township schools and students “via electronic communications,” police said.
February 16th Williamstown Middle School Threat - Paul Van Houten, a Williamstown Middle School teacher, was arrested February 16th and charged with creating a false alarm. The complaint, signed against him, alleges Van Houten posted a video to Facebook comments related to an “un-vetted rumor” of gun violence at Williamstown Middle School. The post concerned an incident previously handled by school administration, but was “lacking factual information.” Van Houten should've known this would have caused public alarm, according to the local police department.
February 19th James Caldwell High School Threat - Lamar Shull, 19, is being charged with one count of inducing panic and a second-degree felony after calling in a threat to Caldwell High School. According to Sheriff Robert Pickenpaugh, his office received a call at 9:28 a.m. regarding a bomb threat at the high school. At that time, students were taken to the auditorium while the school was searched by the K-9 units. Pickenpaugh reported that nothing was found during the K-9 search. No motive for the bomb threat was provided by authorities. The incident remained under investigation by the Noble County's Sheriff’s office.
February 21st Lincoln Park Elementary School Threat - Lincoln Park Elementary School was evacuated Wednesday February 21st after a student made a nonspecific bomb threat. Police supervised the evacuation and bomb-detecting dogs from the Morris County Sheriff’s Department were brought in to search the school. The students were brought to the headquarters of Lincoln Park Hose Company No.2, where they were dismissed to their parents.
February 21st Vineland Middle School Threat - A vineland sixth grade student was arrested Wednesday after classmates reported hearing him talk about shooting at the school. The student said he was just joking and didn't mean it. The student was arrested then charged with false alarm.
February 23rd New Brunswick Middle School Threat - The 14-year-old boy was arrested Friday after allegedly stating he had a gun in his backpack during school. Authorities said the boy had no gun and was charged with a false alarm. When interviewed the boy said he was, “just joking” about having a weapon. Police also went to the boy’s house but did not find a weapon their either.
February 25th James Caldwell High School Threat - West Caldwell High School went on lockdown after a reported social media threat. It happened during a “Music Marathon” on Saturday. The threats proved to be false.
February 26th Dumont High School Threat - A New Jersey high school student was taken into custody after a reported social media threat that prompted a lockdown and a SWAT team response. No weapons were found in the school. As the students were hiding under the desks and officers in tactical gear were searching the school, police went to the 15-year-old student’s home and did find a rifle but it was not with him. Afterwards, students were patted down and allowed to leave the building.
February 26th Point Pleasant Middle school Threat - A shelter-in-place was put in action on Monday February 26th after a possible threat was found written on the bathroom stall. The Point Pleasant Boro Police Department was called and responded to the school immediately. District staff and officers conducted a thorough investigation, which decided that no threat exists.
February 26th Cedar Grove High School Threat - A student at Memorial Middle School reportedly made a “concerning” post on Instagram Live on Monday that ended up in police investigation. According to the Cedar Grove Board of Education, the incident was investigated by Cedar Grove Police, who determined that there was no immediate threat to staff or students. Cedar Grove schools alerted parents of the incident via email at approximately 10 p.m. on Sunday.
February 27th Lakewood High School Threat - A 14-year-old Lakewood High School freshman was arrested Monday after reportedly making a threat towards the school. The student was placed in Multi-County Juvenile Detention Facility. On Thursday the student arrived at court and denied the charges. The student was ordered to not be on school grounds or have any contact with any Lakewood student unless given permission by the court. The student was also ordered not to use the internet. His threat included to “sneak a gun into the school and shoot a specific person,” said County Sheriff Randy Thorp.
March 1st Gloucester County High School and Middle School Threat - A 10-year-old student has admitted to sending threatening emails to teachers and principals that caused the closing of three Gloucester County school districts on Thursday. The student made threats saying there would be a threat two different days at two different schools.
March 7th, March 9th and March 13th Cherokee High School and Middle School Threats - A 15-year-old student was arrested Wednesday after using Snapchat to make a threat to Cherokee High School. Two days later March 9th, a 12-year-old boy was arrested after he wrote about his desire to be in a school shooting. A 14-year-old threatened to shoot up his school and warned other students to wear certain colors to not be targeted. The student had no access to any weapons and was quickly charged after posting the threat to Social media.
March 12th Lumberton Middle School Threat - A 12-year-old boy made a comment Monday that he planned to bring a gun the following day. School administrators notified a school resource officer assigned to the building about the threat. The boy was taken into custody later that day and charged with terroristic threats.
March 14th Atlantic City High School Threat - A Jersey Shore High School spent part of Wednesday morning on lockdown as police investigated for weapons. The threat was called minutes before the statewide walk-out. The lockdown was placed after a student received a threatening text message about weapons on the football field. Police searched the property with dogs, but no weapons were found. After school activities were canceled and students were dismissed.