Social media message prompts districtwide lockdown in Clawson

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published April 17, 2019

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CLAWSON — At approximately 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 17, multiple students at Clawson High School filed into the school’s office to show school officials the message on their phones.

Clawson Police Chief Scott Sarvello said a current student, who was not at school that day, reportedly sent a message to the students using the social media platform, saying that he planned to come to class with “my gun.”

“Obviously, everyone takes it seriously. The school was quickly put on lockdown and we immediately started our investigation,” Sarvello said. “The officers on-scene said the (students who received the message) were very upset.”

Sarvello said that as a precaution, the entire district went into a soft lockdown. A soft lockdown means that classes continued as normal, but all doors remained locked, students were not allowed to be in the hallways, and no one was allowed to come or go.

“They knew it was not a drill,” he said. “Everyone’s mind was wondering what’s going on. Students were texting parents, and phones at the school were ringing off the hook. We tried to quickly put something on Facebook that we were on the scene.”

The student in question is a 19-year-old Auburn Hills resident who Sarvello said had not been attending school for the last couple of weeks. He said that Clawson police had not had any contact or issues with him in the past.

“He’s a fifth-year senior,” Sarvello said. “We contacted the Auburn Hills Police Department, who sent a car to the apartment quickly and were able to talk to him before we got there.”

Within an hour from the initial reports, Sarvello said, Clawson Public Schools lifted the lockdown. He applauded the students who reported the message, school administration and personnel from both police departments for their quick responses.

“He was interviewed and taken into custody,” Sarvello said. “We got permission to search the home. No gun was located and none were registered to him. He said the messages he sent to classmates were song lyrics.”

Sarvello said the student is currently locked up at the Troy Police Department. At press time, he said detectives were finishing up their interview and report and would submit charges for authorization from the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.

Sarvello said he expected the charges to be reviewed April 18 and that he would release more information as it came in.

“Every threat that comes forward, we take extremely seriously,” he said.

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