Livingston County Sheriff says 18-year-old student suspected of making threats at Hartland High School

School to reopen Wednesday after threats 'of a shooting' canceled Tuesday classes

HARTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Hartland Consolidated Schools officials say normal activities will resume at Hartland High School on Wednesday.

Classes for the more than 1,700 students were canceled Tuesday after a volley of disturbing threats were brought to the school's attention.

The school says rumors "of a shooting" made the rounds on social networks overnight, prompting school officials to cancel school.

Livingston County Sheriff Robert Bezotte says investigators tracked down the source of the threats and found the student around midnight.

Sheriff Bezotte says the student is 18 years old and made alarming threats of violence via Twitter, Facebook and a campaign of text messages sent to other students reading, "You're first."

The number "24" can be also seen around the high school grounds. The number is burned into the front lawn and it was also painted on school walls and signs.


Some parents says a message referencing the number was sent to indicate "24 students killed on April 24."

Other students say they thought the "24" meant a countdown until graduation day for seniors.


The sheriff says the threats were a prank, yet the student is still in trouble. No charges have been filed yet, but an investigation is moving forward with the student's phone being seized by investigators.


Statement released by Hartland Schools:

Last night we received notifications from students and parents that various social networking sites were reporting there would be a shooting at Hartland High School on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.  We immediately notified the Livingston County Sheriff's Department.  For the safety of our students, we canceled classes so we could work with the Sheriff's Department to investigate and hopefully resolve the situation.  The Sheriff notified us early this morning that they had identified the person who originated the rumor.  While further investigation is ongoing, we are confident this has been resolved and classes will resume tomorrow.  Safety and security are our primary responsibilities.  Students and parents may notice extra security and police presence on our campus.  We view this as a very serious incident.  We will file charges and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.


About the Author:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.