Additional charges possible for Orono Schools threat suspect
Police respond to the incident in Orono, Minnesota
ORONO, Minn. (KMSP) - Police in Orono, Minnesota are continuing to investigate the threat that put Orono Schools into lockdown status for five hours on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Police confirmed one juvenile has been arrested and is in custody on charges of terroristic threats, and the investigation remains open as police look into additional charges for the suspect.
A second person of interest who was interviewed by police was found to not be associated with this incident. He has been cleared of this investigation and no other suspects are being sought.
"The safety and security of our students is a common priority between the police department and our schools," Orono Police said in a statement. "There was an increased presence of police at the schools this morning and will continue this week. The school administration and the police department would like to reassure students and parents that it is safe to return to school."
In a press conference Wednesday evening, Orono Police Chief Correy Farniok said at 10:57 a.m. officers learned of two threats posted on Facebook and Twitter stating there would a shooting at noon at Orono schools. Orono Schools enacted lockdown procedures at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday under the advisement of the police.
When police learned the threat was sent from inside the school, they decided to keep the students one hour after the usual dismissal.
"This is the reasoning why we went into the lockdown procedure at that time," said Chief Farniok. "Due to the fact, with this still being fresh in our minds of the tragedy that occurred last week, we want to take all precautions to make sure students, staff and the community was safe."
The Hennepin County sheriff's office and the FBI are assisting with the investigation.