Student charged for reporting fake gun threat made against Union County schools

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UNION COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — A Piedmont Middle School student is facing charges after reporting that an incident involving a gun would occur at either Piedmont High School or Piedmont Middle School or both.

According to Union County Sheriff’s Office, the male student used an anonymous reporting system app and social media to report the incident would occur on Thursday.

Deputies and school staff immediately investigated the threat and interviewed the student. The investigation continued late into Wednesday evening with investigators unable to gather any leads in the case.

On Thursday morning, during another interview, the student confessed to making up the threat and was charged with felony making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property. Investigators say no evidence or information was found that would indicate a gun was ever on either school’s campus.

During the investigation into the Piedmont threats, deputies received similar reports concerning Porter Ridge High School and Parkwood High School reported late Wednesday evening.

After an investigation, it was determined that the Porter Ridge High School threats made were a misunderstanding of two students discussing a recent shooting in Michigan and that nobody was planning to harm Porter Ridge students. The Parkwood High School threat was also deemed a misunderstanding after a report by a student who learned of the Piedmont High School threat. No charges were filed in either of the misunderstandings.

The Union County Sheriff’s Office released a statement following the threat investigations:

The UCSO’s School Resource Officers take all threats against our schools seriously and conduct timely and thorough investigations for each reported threat. Sadly, in this series of threats, a student fabricated threats which caused a great deal of fear, confusion and panic within our community. The UCSO would like to take this time to remind parents and guardians to speak with their children about being truthful when reporting things to school staff and law enforcement. We also request that parents and guardians closely monitor their children’s social media accounts to prevent the dissemination of false information. While social media is a great way to spread information quickly, it can also become a source of unwarranted panic and fear when not utilized responsibly. The UCSO will continue to criminally charge anyone who fabricates and distributes false threats of violence or criminal activity against our schools.

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