Student, 13, charged for threat targeting Warren middle school

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published December 3, 2019 | Updated December 5, 2019 10:30am

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“Please take time TODAY to review with your children the seriousness of saying or posting inappropriate things on social media that will most certainly get them in trouble."

Robert Livernois, Warren Consolidated Schools Superintendent

WARREN — A threatening message in a group text was brought to the attention of authorities and resulted in the closure of Beer Middle School for the day on Dec. 3. 

The student allegedly responsible for making that threat was later taken into Warren police custody. Macomb County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Smith later announced the student, who was not named because of his age, would be named in a juvenile petition on the charge of making an intentional threat to commit an act of violence against a school, school employees or students. The charge is a one-year  misdemeanor. 

Detective Sgt. Greg Booton of the Warren Police Department said the student, 13, a resident of Warren, was detained by officers at a home in Sterling Heights, where he was reportedly staying. 

 The investigation began after Warren police were dispatched to the home of another student at 9:40 p.m. Dec. 2. The student reportedly received a screenshot of a group text from a friend. The message, which also reportedly included a picture of a girl, allegedly stated, “I’m shooting the school up tomorrow because of her.” 

“Based on that information the resource officer contacted the superintendent and he decided to close the school for the day,” Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said. 

The decision to close the school, on Martin Road west of Ryan Road, was announced in a message to parents from Robert Liveronis, superintendent of the Warren Consolidated Schools district.

Livernois said the threat was reported late Dec. 2 to the state of Michigan’s “OK2SAY” anonymous tip line, and also to the Warren Police Department.

While the threat was allegedly conveyed with intent, investigators do not believe there was imminent danger to anyone or that the student had access to weapons. 

“Given the late notice and out of an abundance of caution, the decision was made to close school for the day,” Livernois said in the statement before the student was detained. “Despite the difficulty of this situation, I am pleased that several students who received the text message felt comfortable reporting this information to adults. This continues to support our belief that if you see something, say something.”

In a follow-up statement to parents on Dec. 3, Livernois added, “This afternoon we concluded an investigation that responded to a social media threat against Beer Middle School.”

He added, “Through some outstanding work b the WCS Security and Crisis Response Team and the Warren Police Department, the student who posted the threat is in custody, facing serious criminal charges.

“I want to thank the students who reported this social media post to OK2SAY and the Warren Police as it continues to demonstrate how strong relationships help students report difficult information. At no time was the school in danger,” Livernois said. 

“Please take time TODAY to review with your children the seriousness of saying or posting inappropriate things on social media that will most certainly get them in trouble. Also, please help your children understand that spreading social media threats as an attempt to warn people only makes the problem worse. The right thing to do is to call the police or tell a responsible adult,” Livernois added.

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