Social media shooting threat prompts lockdown at Fayette-Ware High School, sheriff’s office says

Somerville, Tenn. — A local high school was shut down Friday after a social media post was found threatening to shoot up the school.

Authorities with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said that Fayette-Ware High School was placed on lockdown between 11 a.m. and noon while officials investigated a threat made against the school on Snapchat.

That threat showed a picture of a hand holding a gun with a caption threatening to shoot up the school, the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities told FOX13 that all indications are that the post was a hoax and that they found the original picture of the gun on a website marketing tactical bags and law enforcement gear.

Officials with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said the picture was taken from that website and altered to make the threat against the school on Snapchat.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office emphasized that this was not a photo taken at the school.

Adding to the confusion, authorities said the original version of that altered photo came from a student at another school, one in Fayette, Missouri.

Eventually, the photo wound in the hands of a student from Fayette-Ware High School who then further altered the photo to indicate Fayette-Ware High School before sending it out as a prank, according to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

The threat, then referencing Fayette-Ware High School, was screenshotted multiple more times and spread quickly to other students and parents of students.

Fayette County Public Schools confirmed that the social media threat was made and said that there was no immediate threat to any students or staff member at Fayette County Public Schools at this time.

“The safety of our students and staff remains a top priority and we want to assure all parents, staff and students that Fayette County Public Schools are continuously enforcing and reevaluating our safety protocols. We want our community to know that we take any and all threats very seriously and as such will pursue disciplinary sanctions as allowed by law and district policy,” reads a press release from Fayette County Public Schools.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said that authorities in Fayette, Missouri are working to determine who originated the photo in their state, but that the juvenile who altered the photo and spread it around Fayette-Ware High School has been identified.

Authorities said that charges against that child are pending.

Also, out of an abundance of caution due to the social media threat, the football game Friday night between Fayette-Ware High School and Melrose will be players only.

No spectators will be allowed at the game and refunds will be available.