Featured Story

Riverhead High School student charged with making terroristic threat

A 15-year-old Riverhead High School student was arrested Wednesday after yelling into a classroom: “I’m gonna shoot up the school,” according to Riverhead Town police.

The student, a boy, was immediately detained by high school security and no weapons were found. Riverhead police were already at the high school for an unrelated incident just after 1 p.m. and were advised that the student “threatened to conduct an act of violence against the faculty and students,” police said.

Detectives responded to assist in the investigation and the boy was taken to police headquarters along with his parents.

Police charged the boy with one count of making a terroristic threat and he was transported to Nassau County Juvenile Detention Facility. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at Suffolk County Superior Court in the Youth Part.

Police conducted a search at the student’s home and no weapons were discovered. An Extreme Risk Protection Order is currently pending, police said, which is a a “red flag law” to temporarily restrict the person’s access to guns.

In a message sent to high school parents, principal Sean O’Hara described the incident as a student making “an inappropriate verbal comment in a threatening nature.”

He said the incident was immediately reported to police for an investigation along with the district administration. He said the incident was deemed a “non-credible threat.”

“As a district, we take these matters very seriously,” he said.

The incident comes just over a week after 19 students and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, bringing a heightened awareness to any potential threats posed to schools. Several similar incidents of students being arrested have been reported across Long Island since the massacre in Texas.

“It is understandable that the timing of this incident, especially following last week’s tragedy in Texas can lead some feeling concerned and with questions,” Mr. O’Hara said. “As such, I would like to assure all parents and students that any individual who makes an inappropriate comment in a threatening nature will face strict disciplinary action.”

An 18-year-old student at Westbury High School was also arrested Wednesday by Nassau County police for threatening to shoot up the school in a tweet, Newsday reported. Last week, a student at Bellport High School was arrested after a social media post that threatened a mass shooting, according to the school district.

Following the shooting in Texas, Riverhead Superintendent Augustine Tornatore sent a letter to parents that noted the administration continuously reviews and updates districtwide security and safety procedures.

“We regularly practice and test these protocols and we remain vigilant to keep our buildings safe and secure,” he wrote.