Suspect in Custody After Mass Shooting Threat Prompts Missouri Schools to Cancel Classes

Wire Service
By Wire Service
June 16, 2022US News
Suspect in Custody After Mass Shooting Threat Prompts Missouri Schools to Cancel Classes
Treshawn Montrell Hardridge. (Blue Springs Police Department)

A suspect who allegedly made a mass shooting threat that prompted the cancellation of summer school events in at least eight Missouri school districts Wednesday is in police custody, according to the Blue Springs Police Department.

“There is no threat to the public and as in all threats of violence, our top priority is to keep the community safe,” Blue Springs Police said in a news release Wednesday morning.

The suspect has been charged with making a terroristic threat—and he is identified as Treshawn Montrell Hardridge.

Blue Springs Police Sgt. Keegan Hughes described the suspect as a 19-year-old Blue Springs resident. He was identified with the help of the FBI, Hughes said.

The prosecutor praised the person who anonymously reported the threat—a snapchat post threatening mass murder—saying this case shows that people can make a difference and should take threats seriously.

Police received a report around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday about a suspicious Snapchat post, the statement said, in which someone made a comment threatening “killing people—mass murdering.”

The individual was taken into custody Wednesday morning following all-night surveillance.

The threat never mentioned a specific school, Hughes told reporters Wednesday, describing it as “a very general threat.”

Police shared the information with the local school district, Hughes said. While police did not have a specific potential target, they were aware of summer programming and the safety of students was “paramount” to authorities, he said.

In response, the Blue Springs School District—which serves more than 14,000 students about 20 miles east of Kansas City—announced Tuesday it would cancel Wednesday’s activities “out of an abundance of caution.”

That decision was made after Blue Springs police “alerted the FBI of a possible threat related to an unspecific mass shooting,” the district said in its own statement. It added: “The FBI has confirmed that the individual in question whose whereabouts are unknown is dangerous.”

“We believe the best course of action is to close our summer school sites and all school programming until further notice,” it said.

By Wednesday morning, seven other area school districts—including Lee’s Summit School District, Independence School District, Fort Osage School District, Grain Valley School District, Oak Grove RV-I Schools, Odessa R-VII Schools, and Lone Jack School District— had followed suit.

In statements issued before police announced a suspect was in custody, some of the districts noted they did not have any information indicating the threat was related to their respective school communities. But they, like Blue Springs, opted to cancel activities Wednesday out of an abundance of caution.

The FBI confirmed it was made aware of the threat by Blue Springs police in a statement to CNN but directed further questions to that department, which is the lead investigative agency.

“We take all threats of violence seriously and work with our local partners to provide resources as needed,” the FBI statement said.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.

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