UPDATED: Riverton Police Department addresses threatening social media statements made toward RHS
This post first appeared on County 10 at 9:46am, May 10th 2019. It as been updated as of 2:12pm May 10th, to include a statement on the situation from Fremont County School District #25 Superintendent Terry Snyder.
On Friday morning, May 10th, Riverton Police Department Chief Eric Murphy released a statement via RPD’s Facebook page about an alleged threat against Riverton High School made via an Instagram account.
The FBI is involved in the investigation and RPD announced a plan to take increased security measures.
Chief Murphy’s entire, unedited, statement is pasted below in bold.
The Riverton Police Department along with the FBI have been working a threat of violence agains the Riverton High School. The threat is vague at best but we are taking it very seriously and investigating the threat in an effort to locate a suspect and keep the kids and staff safe. So here is what we know at this time, a threat came across an instagram account (unknown account) that they were going to shoot up Riverton High School on May 15, 2019…. that is all the threat said. Normally we do not release information on an ongoing investigation however I am approaching this as a parent as much as the Chief of Police and I feel parents of our children need to know. I would want to know as a parent. We are continuing the investigation and will have extra officers at all the schools. The challenge is repsonding to this appropriately and putting the safety of the children first without causing panic. I will keep everyone updated as the investigation continues. Thank you,
Eric S Murphy
Chief of Police
On Friday afternoon, FCSD #25 Superintendent released the following statement by email to County 10 about the threats referenced by Chief Murphy. It has been reproduced below in its entirety.
Recently, a student from Riverton High School shared an Instagram screen shot with the high school principal that contained concerning content. A series of posts by an anonymous student made fun of others on campus. The second student, attempting to identify the anonymous student, suggested the original posts may keep the first student from “shooting up the school.”
The safety concern resulted when the second individual responded with an eyewink emoji followed by “May 15”. The Instagram account has since been removed. The Riverton Police Department and FBI are investigating the situation. They have identified one of the parties involved. They are working with Facebook/Instagram to identify the second individual. They are confident they will be able to identify that person also.
The district is taking the information very seriously. Additional, police coverage will be present at all buildings on the 15th. The threat appears to be focused on the high school. The RPD and the school district believe that your students can attend class safely. Classes will be held at all schools next Wednesday. We will leave the decision to attend or not attend up to the parents/guardians.
We are sharing this information so you know what the situation is. It is unfortunate one individual creates such a high level of disruption to all of our students. The challenge is to respond to this appropriately and putting the safety of the students first without causing a panic. Thank you for your understanding through this unfortunate situation. We want to thank the student who shared this information with us. Everyone being on the alert is very important to preventing a crisis.
Terry Snyder, Superintendent
Fremont County School District #25