Student "cooperating with police" after making threats

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -- Law enforcement said threats of a shooting at South High School on November 6, 2019, stemmed from a threat from one student to another specific student. The Cheyenne Police Department's public information officer, said, "Messages were shared amongst others who didn't have that context. It obviously looked like threats of a mass shooting and obviously spread this panic and caused difficulties at South High."

The police department and Laramie County School District #1 encouraged people to share information directly with law enforcement, instead of sharing it with other people. Superintendent of LCSD #1, Dr. Boyd Brown, said, "One of the things that we ask is if you see something, say something. We recommend that if you see something posted, you don't repost it, you report it."

Officer Malatesta said that the PD was getting numerous reports on November 6th from people who heard information through others. "We had parents or grandparents calling in that their child had heard a friend received these messages," Malatesta said. He said, "When it becomes that disconnected from the original source, it really hampers our investigation."

Original Post | The Cheyenne Police Department responded to reports of threats made to South High School students on November 6. While the initial threats of violence were made from one student to another specific student, the messages were quickly shared amongst students, resulting in a panic that a mass shooting would take place at the school. Officers were able to track back the messages to the original sender and are still investigating this student who is cooperating with police.

The Cheyenne Police Department made extra officers available at South High School and the student involved in making the initial threats was not allowed at the school. The CPD is aware that the regular routine of the school was affected and numerous students did not attend class based on the threats that were spread.

This case highlights the importance of quickly and accurately reporting threats to law enforcement rather than allowing those threats to grow into rumors and causing further panic. The CPD urges anyone receiving a threat of violence to immediately share that with law enforcement so that it can be investigated and followed up on rather than resharing that message amongst peers where it’s rapidly redistributed and altered, delaying the investigative process.

Chief Kozak would like to remind the citizens of Cheyenne that, “If the department is aware of a specific threat, we will do everything in our power to address that threat and keep the public informed in order to ensure their safety. If we have reason to believe there is an ongoing threat to the public, that information will be shared as soon as it’s practical for us to do so.”