Authorities have filed felony charges against a 15-year-old boy accused of making a false social media report about a shooting at West Aurora High School.
According to a Friday Facebook post by the Aurora Police Department, the 15-year-old initially was charged with disorderly conduct, but the charge was later upgraded to a felony as authorized by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The social media threat was made by a 15-year-old who created a fake Facebook account using a 16-year-old student’s name, and posted the threat under the fake account.
“(The 15-year-old) created a social media post, using the name of a classmate, that threatened to commit a violent act against the school today,” the APD said. “The classmate was unaware of his name being used, and both he and his family were totally cooperative.”
Previously, the APD had posted that it was aware of a social media post that appeared late Thursday night, Feb. 22, that threatened a shooting at West Aurora High School. The APD post said the threat was “NOT credible.”
That post came on the heels of a previous false-alarm post targeting a “West High” that turned out to be in Ohio.
“When the post came to our attention we immediately assigned several detectives to the case including one who specializes in internet crimes,” the APD posted Thursday. “This is a very technical and methodical investigation and our goal is to hold accountable those responsible.
“These incidents are CRIMES not JOKES,” the post said. “We encourage parents to reinforce this fact to their children. We will prosecute anyone involved in these crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”
The posts follow news about a spent shell casing found at Kaneland High School, which prompted the school to be put on “hold-in-place” status Wednesday afternoon, according to a Beacon-News report. No threats were received regarding that incident, and no guns were found after a sweep of the school.
Regarding the Aurora incidents, comments on the Facebook indicated the extent to which parents were concerned for their children’s safety. Many of the comments called for the person who made the post to be prosecuted, suspended or expelled.