HUTCHINSON, Kansas – Five teenage boys have been arrested after making online threats of violence. The teens are facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder.
The investigation began Monday when a tip from a student about Facebook posts eluded to a school shooting. That led Hutchinson police to the five teens, two of which are Hutchinson High School students. Authorities say this is a crime they and school officials are taking very seriously. The incident has also put some parents on edge.
The Hutchinson High School community is still reeling from what appears to be a foiled plan by the teens to carry out a deadly school shooting. Investigators aren’t yet saying exactly what the threats entailed, but said “they were mutually encouraging each other to commit a school shooting.”
The teens include four 16-year-old boys and a 17-year-old boy. Two are students at the high school. They were all placed into the Reno County Youth Services Detention Facility pending their appearances in juvenile court. KSN will not name the youths because they are all under 18 years of age and have not been officially charged as adults.
KSN spoke to the Reno County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday. The office wouldn’t give too many details on what the Facebook post said. They did say there was discussion of a shooting happening at the high school which was encouraged.
The DA said every threat that is made has to be taken seriously.
“There are those that might say, while they are just kids and just joking, they didn’t really intend to do what they were talking about. We’re not laughing so we have to take this seriously. We did take it seriously. We’re going to take it seriously,” said Keith Schroeder, Reno County District Attorney.
Officials say the detention hearings for the teens will happen Friday, May 1st, and that there is the potential that they could be charged as adults. DA Schroeder says that will ultimately be up to the judge.