Dallas/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on February 28, 2024
Midlothian Juvenile Charged with Terroristic Threat After Text Scare at Walnut Grove Middle SchoolSource: Google Street View

A juvenile in Midlothian was detained following a scare at a local school after a series of threatening texts were sent to multiple students, authorities said. Officers from the Midlothian Police Department were dispatched last Sunday in response to a report that a local juvenile had received alarming text messages from an unknown number. One of the texts included a threat to "shoot up the school," according to the Midlothian Police Department.

The incident spurred a swift investigation as the threat involved Walnut Grove Middle School students in a group chat. The number initially eluded authorities, having been generated by an app that provides "spoof" phone numbers, making the sender hard to trace. However, by Monday morning, officers and the School Resource Unit had joined forces, tightening the net around the potential source of the messages. As a precaution, additional officers were sent to the Walnut Grove campus. The suspect, a 14-year-old student from the same middle school, was later identified and subsequently charged with a third-degree felony under Texas Penal Code Section 22.07(a)5 - TERRORISTIC THREAT, as indicated in a statement obtained by the Midlothian Police Department.

The juvenile, whose identity remains undisclosed due to legal protections for minors, is set to be held at the Ellis County Juvenile Detention Center in Waxahachie. Despite the arrest, authorities have indicated that the threats appear to be unsubstantiated. "The investigation is ongoing; however, we have no reason to believe these threats were valid," the Midlothian Police Department stated. "There is no indication the threat made to the school was credible."