Groves Police: School shooting threat causes police response

Published 12:13 am Thursday, December 19, 2019

GROVES — Groves Police City Marshal Norman Reynolds Jr. said an alleged student posted a Snapchat video of a threat of a school shooting.

The video was allegedly sent to several other students, warning them not to show up at school because there would be a shooting.

And while the threat is not credible the police department and school will continue to investigate.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“Since receiving the threat, our investigators have interviewed several witnesses throughout the day since 5 (Wednesday) morning and we are working with school district officials to identify the student who made the threats,” Reynolds said. “As of this time, everybody is cooperating with the investigation. The safety of the students is always a top priority. We are not taking this lightly. Parents, students and faculty can expect to see an increased police presence at the campus.”

Police took statements for six hours and went to the homes of several students prior to the start of school Wednesday and discussed the incident with their parents as part of the investigation.

Reynolds said Lt. Robert Phillips is working with the officials with Snapchat and are confident they will find out who is responsible.

Police are asking for individuals with information about the incident to contact them and asking for the person responsible to come forward as well.

The threat to Groves Middle School turned out to be unfounded early Wednesday morning.

“All I can say is there was an anonymous account created on Snapchat that mentioned some silly, immature things,” said Julie Gauthier, assistant superintendent for Port Neches-Groves Independent School District. “The Groves Police Department and school district worked together, and at 5 this morning were visiting students’ homes and found no credible threat.”

Gauthier said the district encourages parents to stay involved in students’ social media accounts and to know what’s going on on their phones.

The district was alerted to the issue by the Groves Police Department.

“The safety of our students and staff is of our utmost concern,” she said. “These kids will be punished to the fullest extent allowable.”