Police investigate social media threat aimed at Shelby High School

Police investigate social media threat aimed at Shelby High School

SHELBY, N.C. — The Shelby Police Department is investigating a threatening social media post aimed at Shelby High School.

The threat, "Thinking about shooting up Shelby High," was posted Monday on Facebook.

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Angie Gillespie was one of the parents who saw the threat circulating on Facebook and immediately reported it to police.

"I'm really scared to send my kids to school because you don't know when it's the last time you'll see them," Gillespie said.

Investigators said the flood of social media tips from parents helped them find the former student who they said wrote the threat and now lives in a group home.

The threat comes nearly a week after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and some parents are so worried about the safety of their children.

"My kids are my life,” said Angie Gillispie. “I can't put myself in these (Florida) parents’ shoes, I really can't. I wouldn't know what to do without my kids.”

Mike Anderson, the head of the North Carolina Center for School Safety, believes we're ahead of many other states in terms of readiness and response because the planning and training is much more thorough.

"I can honestly say we take a unique approach in North Carolina. We are addressing both before, during, and after these events," Anderson said.

North Carolina Center for School Safety officials said threats like Monday’s are rare, only happening a handful of times each year.

In the wake of the deadly shooting, local lawmakers are taking aim at North Carolina's gun control laws.

Rep. Rodney Moore is drafting a bill which would create tougher penalties for those who use assault rifles in mass shootings. He also wants to raise the age requirement for purchasing a rifle in North Carolina to 21.

Currently, someone can buy a rifle at 18 years old.

"These things escalate -- they get harder and harder, but there's no action taken," Moore said.

South Carolina is also considering two school safety bills. One would let public school employees carry guns, specifically to respond to threats of school shootings.

The other would place metal detectors at every public school entrance starting in the fall.

A group of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools student leaders will host a discussion Tuesday night about school safety and guns. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council scheduled a special meeting for 5 p.m. at the Government Center in uptown.

The council is designed to provide input to CMS, city and county leaders.

In Raleigh, teenagers will march at the state Capitol Tuesday to demand stricter gun control. Organizers are pushing for four things:

  1. Mandatory background checks
  2. Adding mandatory gun locks
  3. A ban on private gun sales
  4. Requiring that every gun is registered

More than 2,000 people have joined a Facebook group saying they'll participate in the march.

"I think that there is a very strong foundation here for something to happen here, something to get done for legislation to be made," said high school senior Kees Koopman.

The march is organized to support high schoolers from Parkland, who will hold a similar march at their Capitol building Tuesday in Tallahassee.

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