Threats of possible violence at Memphis schools spark increased security, concern from parents

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The terror across Memphis sparked by Wednesday’s deadly shooting spree didn’t end with the suspect’s capture.

Threats of possible copycats at schools prompted Memphis-Shelby County Schools to beef up security, specifically at Southwind High.

MORE: 4 people killed, 3 others injured after man goes on shooting spree across Memphis

Thursday morning parents, students, and teachers could see a massive police presence as soon as they pulled into the school’s parking lot on Shelby Drive. More than a dozen law enforcement lined the entrance, including Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Memphis Police Department, and undercover units.

The parking lot was also visibly emptier than usual, as parents told FOX13 they were too afraid to send their kids to school.

“It’s really worrying, because I don’t feel like comfortable to send him to school,” said Dinora Cruz, who has a son in the 9th grade at Southwind. “I’m afraid something might happen.”

MPD and MSCS confirmed to FOX13 that they were both aware of the threat, which was posted on social media Wednesday night.

The post appeared to threaten a copycat attack, after Wednesday’s shooting spree across Memphis, which left four dead and three injured.

MORE: What we know about the victims in shooting spree across Memphis

That rampage, which MPD said was targeted at random people, was followed by more fear for parents who worried someone could bring that senseless violence to their children at school.

“It is scary,” said Cruz. “But we need to go to work and we need to send the kids to school.”

In response to the shooting spree, MSCS Interim Superintendent Toni Williams acknowledged the increased concern for safety.

She posted a statement on Twitter saying there would be “heightened awareness” at schools, and that counselors and mental health support would be given to students and families.