Crimes and Courts

New details emerge after alleged school threat in Bellaire

BELLAIRE, Ohio (WTRF) - UPDATE:

More details are emerging after a call came into St. John Central in Bellaire on Thursday, saying a student was going to shoot up the school.

But the student whose name was mentioned was a first grader.

Police secured the area and determined that there were were no guns.

They eventually determined that it wasn't the first grader at all who made the call, but instead, a teenage boy from out of state who played online video games with him.

"We were able to get a call phone number from caller ID. We followed up on that. It took us to a 16-year-old boy's who's in central Pennsylvania who is the one who initiated this phone call. It is unfortunate that at the push of a button, all your personal history is out there. So kids need to be careful," said Dick Flanagan, Acting Police Chief.

Flanagan said he has three officers on the case, two regular officers who are skilled in IT issues, and a third special officer with a PhD in Computer Science.

He said the 16-year-old suspect has a history of playing violent video games online with people all over the globe.

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UPDATE:

According to acting Bellaire Police Chief Dick Flanagan, authorities believe a man from Pennsylvania stole the student's gaming ID and made the alleged threat. 

Police have IT experts working to track down the internet provider and router address. They said the phone call also came from an out-of-state number. 

The new information came to light after interviewing the child's parents, who said the kid was at home playing video games at the time the alleged threat was made. 

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UPDATE:

Multiple police departments responded to Bellaire St. John's Central late Wednesday afternoon, for a threat allegedly made by a first grader.

Police said a student reportedly made the threat while playing on X-Box and talking with another player.

That threat was reported to police immediately.

Bellaire Police along with Bridgeport, Shadyside, Martins Ferry, the Belmont County Sheriff's Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol converged on the school.

After-school softball practice was halted immediately and the school was evacuated.

Bellaire Police Patrolman, Hank Martin said, "Well I received a call about the threat of a firearm. And we didn't know if the person was in the area or not. The school was already secured when I came. There was no student or staff with a firearm. The only firearms was law enforcement. We searched. Everything was good. We got the children out. Like I said, it was a juvenile. And we're going to explore all the avenues of it, and it will be done."

Again, police said they've determined there was never any danger at the school.

Acting Bellaire Police Chief Dick Flanagan tells 7News he interviewed the child's parents this evening.

We'll bring you more on this, as it becomes available.

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ORIGINAL:

Police are responding to St John Central Grade School after an elementary-aged student allegedly made a verbal threat at an after school activity in Bellaire.

Bellaire Police Chief Dick Flanigan tells 7News that his department is taking this very seriously.

According to Bellaire Police, crews from Shadyside, Martins Ferry, Bridgeport, Belmont County Sheriff's Department, and OSHP are assisting. Stay with 7News for updates.


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