Aberdeen police identified a juvenile male from Grays Harbor who is suspected of posting a threatening message to one of Aberdeen High School’s social media accounts.
The suspect, who does not currently attend Aberdeen schools, was taken into custody about 8:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3. All schools will resume regular operations on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
The investigation began Sunday when Superintendent Jeffrey Thake notified police about a post on the Aberdeen High School TikTok account, which stated, “I’m bringing a gun to school on Monday.” A second post, “Don’t go to school on Monday,” is also being evaluated.
Superintendent Thake made the decision to cancel school early Sunday evening when a suspect had yet to be identified. But Aberdeen detectives continued their efforts. Working with officials from the TikTok platform and high school administrators, police were able to establish probable cause late Sunday night and began looking for the suspect.Aberdeen Police Chief Dale Green and Aberdeen Superintendent Jeffrey Thake spoke highly of the cooperation that took place over the weekend.
Chief Green said he hopes the quick response sends a message to everyone that law enforcement takes the posting of online threats very seriously. “Thankfully, we were able to identify a suspect through the cooperation of our many partners,” he said. “These included the schools, which helped us network with students in an attempt to identify the poster, our detectives were able to obtain needed information from TikTok, and expertise from our other law enforcement partners. We were able to identify a suspect late Sunday night, and our officers worked through the night in an attempt to locate. We were able to take the individual into custody this morning.”
Superintendent Jeffrey Thake also expressed appreciation at the joint effort. “I would like to thank our building administration and the Aberdeen Police Department for their tireless work to address this situation,” he said. “We followed Board Policy 3225 and 3225P which deal with school-related threats. We were able to take swift action. The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority.”