18-Year-Old Arrested in Jersey City Copycat Threat at Bayonne High School

The social media threat that warned of the "same type of crime" at Bayonne High School Wednesday was not credible, according to police

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What to Know

  • A threat surfaced online about a potential copycat attack at a high school in a city adjacent to Jersey City, where six people died in a shootout
  • Bayonne school officials contacted parents to let them know of the threat posed to the district's high school
  • The superintendent threatened that if the culprit of the online threat is a student in the district, they would be expelled

Hours after four victims and two suspects were killed in an hours-long shootout in Jersey City, a threat surfaced online about a potential copycat attack at an adjacent city's high school and its supposed author has been arrested.

Bayonne police took 18-year-old Deandre Jefferson into custody late Tuesday and charged him with false public alarm, false reports to law enforcement and terroristic threats.

The social media threat that warned of the "same type of crime" at Bayonne High School Wednesday was not credible, according to police, but the message worried parents and students who were already placed on lockdown during Tuesday afternoon's deadly shooting. It's unclear Jefferson is a student at the school.

The superintendent of Bayonne Public Schools John Niesz assured parents Tuesday that "We will have security present as always and your children will be safe tomorrow."

Niesz, a retired police sergeant, said that whomever was found to be responsible for the threat will be punished to the fullest extent of the law, and that he would expel the culprit if they are a student of the Bayonne School District.

While some were happy with how the Jersey City schools handled the whole situation during the deadly shootout, other students and parents were upset over the lack of communication from the school system. NBC New York's Erica Byrfield reports.

"As Superintendent I am disgusted to send this message to our community," Niesz said in the email. "I am appalled at the audacity than an individual would make such a threat to the Bayonne School District. This type of threatening behavior is absolutely deplorable and will not be tolerated."

The threat came on the same day as two suspects exchanged at least 100 rounds of ammo with Jersey City police after they killed a city officer at a cemetery and three other victims at a Kosher market.

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