BREAKING NEWS, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 1:30 p.m.–Earlier today, Wilton Police confirmed that they are investigating an online threat made against the Wilton High School community they said was made by a male juvenile resident of Wilton. That threat involved a photo of a juvenile male–which school officials identified as a WHS student–wearing a Wilton Warriors shirt holding what appeared to be a firearm with a caption that read, “Don’t come to school Monday.”
Police said at no time was there a viable threat or were students in danger. However, the investigation is considered a criminal one and is ongoing.
According to Capt. Rob Cipolla of the Wilton Police, the photo was taken two weeks ago and was posted to a fake Instagram account over the last weekend.
Police were alerted to this threatening Instagram post at 5:45 a.m. Tuesday morning. Facebook (which owns Instagram) first contacted the New Canaan Police department through its Law Enforcement Response Team, and identified a residence from where the post originated. Wilton Police say that Facebook initially identified it as a New Canaan location because of its proximity to the New Canaan border, but that it is a Wilton location. The information was then communicated to Wilton Police.
Members of the Wilton Police Department’s patrol division immediately responded to the residence and made contact with the residents–none of whom were identified as the juvenile male depicted in the social media post. Through investigation, they identified a second juvenile male resident of Wilton as the individual in the photo. Patrol officers responded to the residence of the pictured juvenile male, and made contact with him and his parent at approximately 6:50am.
There, officers seized what has been determined to be a BB gun that was depicted in the social media post as well as an air soft gun from the residence. Police say the juvenile male and parent have been cooperative with the investigation. They also maintain that at no time did there appear to be a viable threat to the public or school community.
Cipolla said that no arrest has been made, but that the criminal investigation is ongoing. He added that the department is in contact with the juvenile prosecutor and arrest charges are possible.
The Department coordinated efforts with the Wilton Public Schools at the onset of the investigation and continue to communicate. According to Cipolla, police notified superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith at approximately 6:30 a.m. about the investigation.
Cipolla says that police will continue to investigate to determine culpability and probable cause for either one or both juveniles, or determine if other individuals were involved. “We will continue to work with the prosecutor to see what’s appropriate,” he said.
Police also say that in light of the investigation the Department has increased patrol presence and visibility in the school areas.
School Notifies Families
WHS principal Dr. Bob O’Donnell sent a letter to the school community Tuesday afternoon to explain the events that had taken place.
O’Donnell’s letter said that, “rest assured… our school district will follow its protocols and procedures as we respond to this disturbing incident.”
He also said it was important to “remain aware and vigilant in our common effort to promote the safety and security of our community. As part of that effort, we remind all members of our community that if they, ‘see something,
[they should] say something.’ Doing so can have a profound positive impact on the lives of all members of our school community.”