Skyline High School to close Thursday over mass shooting threat
September 20, 2012
By Kathleen R. Merrill
NEW — 12:45 a.m. Sept. 20, 2012
Students and parents were panicking late Wednesday and into the early morning hours of Thursday after someone posted on the Internet that Skyline High School would be targeted for a mass shooting.
After conferring with Sammamish Police, school officials decided to close the school.
“This is always one of the hardest situations to deal with. You take it as seriously as you possibly can but with social media, that kind of stuff is easy to put out there,” Issaquah School District spokeswoman Sara Niegowski said. “There is no way to say this is not credible, so the absolute safest thing to do is close the campus tomorrow and give police time to track down this individual and make sure that everyone is safe.”
The posting from the website 4chan read in part:
“tomorrow i am going to be taking my fathers erma smg (pic related) and i am going to open fire on the people in the commons in the morning until i am either taken down by our schools police officer or until i run out of mags. i have a separate mag with a few bullets in it that i will use to take my life if i can make it up to that point. the people at that school use their wealth and social status to act superior to others and they think it makes them better. the biggest of that would definitely be the jocks. i am going to start killing them first because they deserve it the most, and they are in the middle of the commons so it would be an ideal place to start. anyways, i just thought I’d share my story before i head to bed tonight. cant say the fact that im leaving this world tomorrow saddens me at all because ill be doing it with a good cause. these kids dont deserve the lives they have been given, and tomorrow ill make sure that they wont ever abuse them again.”
The post also had a photo of what appeared to be a machine gun-type weapon.
“I was on Facebook and I saw the post, and then I called a friend and asked if he saw it,” a 16-year-old Skyline junior who lives in the Klahanie area said in a phone interview. (The Issaquah Press is not naming her out of concern for her safety.) “It kind of blew up on Facebook in like two or three minutes and there were like hundreds of comments.
“At first it was just like, ‘Oh, is this one of those scams?’ Then it just started erupting on Facebook and it was like, ‘This is really real.”
“You’re on the plateau and you think something like this couldn’t really happen to you, but it could,” she added. “Now it’s not just some Virginia Tech story. It could happen anywhere.”
“I’m honestly so freaked out,” a Skyline senior said.
About an hour after the posting first appeared (it was taken down quickly but many students had saved it in a screen shot), school officials sent out an email blast and made mass calls to parents to tell them school had been cancelled in the interest of safety.
The email read:
“Dear Skyline students and staff:
Apologies for the late notification, but we’ve had an emergency situation arise. Police have received a report of a threat against Skyline students reported to take place tomorrow and they are investigating. Working closely with them, we’ve decided to act out of an abundance of caution and close school tomorrow 9/20/12. Please do not have any staff, students or community members come to Skyline campus. We will have more information for you tomorrow or as it’s available. Again, apologies for the late notification but student and staff safety is our top concern.”
Sammamish Police are investigating the incident.