Teen faces felony charge for Snapchat threat

A high school boy is facing a felony terroristic threat charge after Columbus ISD administrators were alerted to a threat made on Snapchat against a student and called police.

The school district canceled classes Monday for all 1,500 of its students at the five campuses in Columbus ISD due to the threat.

Columbus police were alerted to the threat at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

“We had some concerned citizens that called in about a threat that they had [seen] on Snapchat that was directed mostly towards one student,” said police chief Skip Edman.

Edman says his department partnered with the sheriff’s office and FBI to track down the perpetrator, who was concealing his identity through a fake Snapchat name. On Monday afternoon, police identified and detained the teen boy who attends Columbus High School. 

In the Snapchat message, which was captured in a screenshot and shared between students in the school, the perpetrator threatens violence against another student and threatens to bring an AK-47 with him to carry out the threat.

“I was kind of like in shock,” said Sophomore Kristen Hernandez after reading the threat.

Hernandez says a friend sent her the screenshot, in which the perpetrator typed several slurs and named the person he was threatening.

The boy being targeted happened to be someone Hernandez knows.

“We’re good friends, and I was really worried about him,” said Hernandez. “I asked him if he was okay. He said he was okay. I didn’t want anything to happen to him, ‘cause he’s not a bad person.”

Sophomore Tyler Pawlik says he was shown the snap as well.

“I think he should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said Pawlick. "He shouldn’t have said it. It’s wrong.”

Police are not releasing the name of the suspect due to the fact that he is a juvenile younger than 17.

Edman says the police department will have an increased number of officers visible on Columbus ISD campuses Tuesday to ensure safety as students return to classes.