Aberdeen schools shut down, one arrested following threat

Posts threatening to bring a gun to school were made on the school’s social media profiles.

he Aberdeen School District closed schools Monday, Oct. 3 following a threat posted on the district’s social media sites on Sunday.

A boy, not currently a student in Aberdeen schools, was detained Monday morning in connection with the threat.

“We were able to identify a suspect late Sunday night, and our officers worked through the night in an attempt to locate,” said Aberdeen Police Chief Dale Green in a news release. “We were able to take the individual into custody this morning.”

The district contacted police at about 11 a.m. on Sunday morning after the suspect posted threats on an Aberdeen High School social media account, stating “I’m bringing a gun to school on Monday.” A second post was made stating “don’t go to school on Monday,” according to the news release. APD Lt. Andy Snodgrass lauded the detectives for their quick work running down the suspect.

“We had a couple last year, not specifically gun specific stuff but threats to the school,” Snodgrass said. “At the Aberdeen Police Department we take the kids’ safety super, super seriously, so we investigate all of them. That’s why you become a cop, right? To take care of kids.”

Green praised quick and effective communication with partnering organizations for the alacrity of the arrest.

“Thankfully, we were able to identify a suspect through the cooperation of our many partners,” Green said. “These included the schools, which helped us network with students in an attempt to identify the poster, our detectives were able to obtain needed information from TikTok, and expertise from our other law enforcement partners.”

Such threats are uncommon, Green said, and the APD takes threats to schools extremely gravely.

“We don’t get them very often. I think the kids have figured out we have a zero tolerance policy,” Green said. “We can’t sit around and let it happen. We act quickly.”

District Superintendent Jeffrey Thake praised the APD for their assistance.

“I would like to thank our building administration and the Aberdeen Police Department for their tireless work to address this situation,” Thake said. “We were able to take swift action. The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority.”

That cooperation allowed for rapid apprehension of the suspect, Snodgrass said.

“It was a really good cooperation,” Snodgrass said. “We know our realm and they know their realm. There was really good cooperation between the APD and the ASD on that one.”

The Hoquiam School District increased police presence on its campuses on Monday in response to the threat, according to a post on the district’s website by Superintendent Mike Villarreal.

School resumed as normal for ASD on Tuesday, Oct. 4.