NewsLocal NewsCuyahoga County


Threats of violence at schools increase after FL shooting, officials warn about new anonymous app

Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 18:19:00-05

After last week's shooting in Florida, there have been an increase in school threats across the country, including northeast Ohio. 

"Up until last Wednesday, it was just a now and then threat. Since Wednesday's shooting in Florida, our threats in our area have increased," said Special Agent Vicki Anderson with the Cleveland FBI. 

Florida high school mass shooting: 17 dead, ex-student arrested

Florida school shooting marks one of the deadliest in U.S. history

Most of threats have come to the attention of police via social media. You've most likely heard of Twitter, Facebook or Snapchat, but there is a new app that was used to send a recent threat.

It's called Sarahah. It was used to send a vague threat to a local student. The app is based overseas. It has 14 million users worldwide and is anonymous.

"If you haven't heard about it, I suggest you Google it and educate yourself on Sarahah," said Stark County Sheriff George Maier. 

Police find 'distractionary-type' devices in backpack of 7th-grader who shot self at Jackson school

Father of Jackson Township student says he put body armor in son's book bag over the weekend

Sixth-grade student describes 'horrifying' day at Jackson middle school: 'It feels good to be alive'

Maier said it is one of the top five downloads for young people. 

The FBI is helping local police departments track down those responsible for recent, local threats.

"It's not funny. This always seems to happen after a shooting, copycat threats. It's not a joke, not a joke at all. No one is laughing," said Anderson. 

In wake of Florida shooting, copycat threats being made to schools around the country

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the threat, the person or persons could face state or federal charges.