Howell

NJ High School Student Arrested for Threatening Social Media Post

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Brian Thompson reports.

What to Know

  • A student at Howell High School in New Jersey is facing charges after posting a photo of what looked like a gun on Snapchat -- a photo that many saw as a threat.
  • The Snapchat photo shows what appears to be part of a rifle and the words "Don't pu Tomorrow," written by a high school student. That is all Howell police needed to go into hyperdrive.
  • The recent school shooting in Michigan added emphasis to what police did in Howell.

A student at Howell High School in New Jersey is facing charges after posting a photo of what looked like a gun on Snapchat -- a photo that many saw as a threat.

The Snapchat photo shows what appears to be part of a rifle and the words "Don't pu Tomorrow," written by a high school student. That is all Howell police needed to go into hyperdrive.

The recent school shooting in Michigan added emphasis to what police did in Howell. And, while it may not have turned out to be a real gun, the words in the post and the imagery were meant to cause alarm, threat and risk of violence, authorities said.

"Everybody communicates with each other, so right away it spread like wildfire," Howell Police Department Capt. Tom Rizzo said.

The message posted was interpreted by police as: "Don’t pull up to school tomorrow. Don’t come here or else." And, it had Howell buzzing Wednesday.

"Kids shouldn’t have to go to school and worry about that ever," a local told News 4 New York.

The high school principal, Jeremy Braverman, put out a statement reading in part the post was "immediately investigated" and "found to be not credible." While adding that the student "will not be in school for the immediate future."

Police say the gun in the Snapchat photo is actually an airsoft pellet gun, although it looks real.

It is the ease of getting in guns and the surge in gun sales nationwide and in New Jersey that drove the police reaction in Howell.

"We don’t need what happened in Michigan," Rizzo said, adding that they need to be "vigilant and to be aware as to what unfortunately has become commonplace in our society."

Since the incident in Howell involves a juvenile, the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office will have to determine what it wants to do as far as pursuing any charges against the student from a juvenile standpoint.

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