‘Very scary:’ 17-year-old in custody for threat to Indian Trail HS; school will be in session Friday

KENOSHA -- A boy, 17, has been arrested in connection with a threat posted to social media targeting students at Indian Trail High School and Academy. It led to the closure of the school on Thursday, Feb. 1.

Kenosha police said the suspect was arrested around 11:30 a.m. Thursday with assistance from Milwaukee police. Detectives Thursday afternoon were interviewing a second individual -- a boy, age 17.

The police department believes the threat was not going to be carried out by the 17-year-old boy -- and no evidence has been recovered to suggest otherwise. Charges will be referred to the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office upon completion of the investigation.

Based on the findings of the investigation, the Kenosha Unified School District has confirmed that all schools will be in session on Friday, including Indian Trail High School and Academy.

FOX6 News noticed police patrolling the empty parking lot all day, along with a middle school across the street, as investigators worked to determine who made the threat.

"I think it's very, very scary for all the kids that are involved," Melissa Garst, who lives near the school said.

Police said they were notified Wednesday night, Jan. 31 around 9:30 p.m. of the threat made on social media. At the same time, KUSD officials became aware of the threat and contacted police.

According to Tanya Ruder, the chief communication officer for KUSD, district officials were notified about a post on social media that had a threat regarding a shooting at Indian Trail High School and Academy.

"It was a text message between students that was then posted to Snapchat. Then the snap was shared with us by parents, students and others. All threats of this nature are all taken very seriously," said Ruder.

The threat reads: "I'm shooting up ITA tomorrow."

Someone responded: "Go ahead."

The original sender wrote: "I don't care who I hit, and I've reached my breaking point."

Indian Trail High School and Academy

School officials said this was an isolated threat and only applied to Indian Trail High School and Academy. Although the threat was directed at Indian Trail, patrols were increased around other schools in the district -- and school was canceled for the day Thursday at Indian Trail. KUSD officials sent out an emergency announcement around 5 a.m.

"It makes me feel safer to know that I wasn't going to sit next to someone who might harm us. I just can't think of what would have happened if we didn't find out," Damaris Cazares, Indian Trail freshman said.

"I feel better knowing that they took the precautions to say 'let's just shut it down,'" Garst said.

“It’s actually very important for students to know that none of these threats are taken lightly. Whether they say it in a joking manner or not, they can face criminal charges for making any kind of threat against schools, even if they’re saying it in jest, they should know that they can be held accountable legally," said Ruder.