By Jeff Wagner

EAGAN, Minn. (WCCO) – Police said there is proof that students and parents have a heightened awareness to possible threats after last week’s deadly shooting at a Florida high school.

“It happens every so often, it happens every year,” said officer Aaron Machtemes of Eagan police, regarding people reporting possible threats.

It happened again late last week at Eagan High School.

Police said students on a bus overheard a classmate referencing the deadly shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School which happened a day earlier.

“The student referenced sympathy for the shooter which caused the concern,” Machtemes said.

An administrator was notified, then the school resource officer. Police said the student who made the statements was questioned and his locker searched. Nothing was found.

“With the student’s parent’s permission, we searched the home and did not find anything concerning,” he said.

It’s the outcome police hope for but don’t always get.

In Knox County Kentucky, two teenagers and an adult were arrested for threatening to kill students on the social media app Snapchat.

A 14-year-old in Norfolk, Virginia, was also arrested after telling black students they would be shot if they went to school that day.

CBS News reported there have been at least 12 arrests related to “copycat” threats after the Florida shooting.

Machtemes said witnesses who are willing to speak up are to be praised.

“After a national incident, people are a lot more aware, reporting suspicious activity or events are more on people’s minds which can be a good thing,” he said. “We’d much rather get tips and investigate them rather than people not saying something.”

Even though the case at Eagan High School was unfounded, police said the school resource officer will keep in contact with the student in question.
They also commended the students who came forward to alert officials.

“If parents are still concerned, I say continue to be vigilant, continue to report anything suspicious,” Machtemes said.

WCCO reached out to the school district regarding this matter but they did not want to comment on it.


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