Cops: Charleston teen threatened school online with Columbine shooting pic

Jason Fennell. (Source: CCDC)
Jason Fennell. (Source: CCDC)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston police say a West Ashley teen has been arrested for posting threatening messages online, including a photo from the Columbine High School shooting, towards a Delaware high school.

Jason Thomas Fennell, 17, turned himself in to Charleston police Tuesday and has been charged with unlawful communication and third degree computer crime. A bond hearing has been scheduled for 1 p.m.

According to a release, the Charleston Police Department and Delaware State Police conducted a joint investigation after threatening online messages were sent to a New Castle, Delaware high school from a computer in Charleston.

A student at Concord High School in Delaware notified police on October 5 that threatening posts were made on the social networking site EDMODO, which is used by students and faculty at Concord High School.

Police say the postings stated "don't come to school Monday" with an attached photo from the Columbine High School shooting. Another post said "why build for something you're already prepared for. Concord School Massacre 2013."

Police say a large percentage of students did not go to school the next day, and those that did were searched because of the threats.

According to an incident report, police met with the Fennell family on October 6 after tracing the post's IP address to their home. Fennell and his parents denied posting the threats, and Fennell said he never heard of the website before.

An affidavit states Fennell admitted to posting the threats on October 7.

Fennell, a West Ashley High School student, was immediately suspended following Tuesday's arrest and recommended for expulsion, according to Jason Sakran with Charleston County School District.

Sergeant Paul G. Shavack with the Delaware State Police released the following statement:

The arrest of Fennell is a result of the coordinated investigative efforts of the Charleston Police Department and Delaware Troopers.These cooperative efforts ensure that those who choose to threaten Delaware schools through the utilization of the internet or social platforms, will be located and brought to justice.

The investigation is ongoing.

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