UPDATE: Reidland HS "Threat" Was About Video Game
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - At approximately 8:00 pm Tuesday, McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden released the following statement, revealing the fact that the recent "threat" at Reidland High School was actually two students discussing a video game. The situation had already been investigated and cleared by the Sheriff's Department last week.
Here is the press release from Sheriff Hayden:
Sheriff’s detectives were finally able to obtain the name of the author of the letter today (Tuesday) at approximately 11:00 am after the Paducah Sun contacted the sheriff’s department stating that the author and others familiar with the letter agreed to meet with law enforcement.
Interviews were conducted throughout the afternoon and evening with several different individuals, as investigators identified those implicated in the letter that was sent to the Paducah Sun. Detectives determined that the writer of the letter was a 17-year-old student that wrote the letter on behalf and at the direction of a teacher at the school. The teacher was identified and stated she had received the information from another teacher that allegedly had received a report from two students that had overheard a conversation between two additional students, about “bombs” in class.
The teacher convinced the student to type the letter and sign it, so that she could mail it to the Paducah Sun. The teacher's reason for writing the letter was she was afraid nothing was going to be done about the threats she was told about.
After these findings were determined a meeting was held with McCracken County School Officials along with McCracken County School Resource Officers at approximately 4:00 pm Tuesday. Detectives disclosed the findings to school officials so that the identity of the remaining witnesses could be obtained. It was not until this time that school officials and school resource officers informed detectives that this was the same threat that had been brought to their attention on Thursday December 12, 2012. Their investigation revealed that same day that there was clearly no threat at all, and what the students were talking about was a video game called “Mine Craft”, which involves placing bombs and blowing up buildings as a way of collecting points. Both of these students cooperated fully with the investigation. Partial segments of their conversations were what the two reporting students overheard and were unintentionally misunderstood. School officials along with school resource officers investigated and unequivocally were able to determine that there was never a threat towards the school or students.
It was impossible for school officials or law enforcement to know this was the same threat that had already been investigated and cleared six days before, because they did not have the information they needed about the letter's author. Had investigators been this information earlier, this investigation would have been concluded much sooner.
An excerpt of the letter is as follows: "But we have a student, someone who sits in class with us, who has brought weapons twice and most recently plotted a map of bomb and gun attack sites around the school area." Based on this statement in the letter, law enforcement and school officials believed that there was a possible imminent threat that deserved some decisive action. Had investigators been provided contact information sooner, this incident could have been cleared up much quicker.”