The teen faces a Class D Felony charge for threat of terrorism and an aggravated misdemeanor for first degree harassment after allegedly posting a photo of eight firearms on Snapchat this past Sunday with a text that read “Ready for school 7 can join me.” The juvenile is a student in the Greene County School District.
Superintendent Tim Christensen released a statement saying: “I commend the Jefferson Police Department on their handling of a recent threatening message on Snapchat involving a high school student. We are very appreciative of the work they do. The Greene County School Board will address this issue at their July meeting. Since the issue involves a student, the issue will be discussed in closed session. Any action taken on the issue would take place in open session.”
The Jefferson Police Department was notified of the photo through the FBI. Captain Heath Enns said when they went to the boy’s house in the 300 block of East McKinley Street and talked to the boy and his mother. The teen admitted to posting the photo and claimed it was a joke. The mother allowed officers to search the home for the weapons and removed the eight firearms including: three BB guns, two 12-gauge shotguns, a 50-caliber rifle, a .22-caliber rifle and a 12-gauge pump shotgun.
Police Chief Mark Clouse tells Raccoon Valley Radio that after consulting with Greene County Attorney Nic Martino, the name of the juvenile will not be released. He says according to Iowa Code, when an individual is charged with a forcible felony, typically the juvenile’s names can be released because those charges can be tried in adult court. However, Iowa Code doesn’t list “terrorism” as a forcible felony. Clouse notes that in this situation, since the school district was the victim, they released the name of the suspect to the school district, so the school district could take proper action against that individual.
The 15-year-old was arrested Sunday and was released to Juvenile Court Services.
Raccoon Valley Radio will bring you more information as it becomes official.