‘Bogus’ social media account posted threat against Weaver Middle School, police say

A social media message hinting at a Tuesday school shooting at Weaver Middle School was likely a false threat posted by a “bogus profile,” according to Merced police.

Officers first started receiving reports about an alleged school shooting threat aimed at Weaver Middle School at about 9:30 p.m. Monday, Merced Police Capt. Matt Williams said.

The possible threat was made through Snapchat, a photo and video messaging app that allows users to see messages for a short time before being deleted.

Since then, detectives had been working with and interviewing school officials and students to identify the source of the alleged threat, Williams said. However, authorities weren’t able to validate the threat. So far, they haven’t identified a suspect.

No schools were closed due to the message, Williams said. Detectives traced the threat back to a Snapchat account.

“We think somebody created a bogus profile,” Williams said. “This bogus account posted stuff like that, and next thing you know, no one wants to go to school to get shot up.”

Authorities on Wednesday were still trying to track down the source of the threat, Williams said.

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.