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Clown Threat That Called For Opening Fire Spooks Students

By Kelly Werthmann

GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Greeley are investigating threats made online about shootings involving clowns and at least two schools.

It started on Facebook where police said one post contained a threat about a shooting on Halloween night. Word spread quickly and it turned into a viral event claiming clowns would carry out shootings at schools.

“I think it’s immature and stupid,” said Mason Henkel, a junior at Northridge High School.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Henkel said the online threats are spooking some of his classmates. Many didn’t show up to school Tuesday.

“I only had like five kids in class,” he said. “It’s a waste of time for teachers.”

Authorities don’t believe the threats are credible and have tracked the post to a 15-year-old student. However, in light of similar cases happening in other states, the case is under investigation.

“This is interfering with kids’ ability to learn,” Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke said. “I don’t find any humor in it at all.”

Additional resource officers were on hand at all Greeley Schools as police also keep an eye and ear out for any suspicious activity.

CBS4's Kelly Werthmann interviews Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann interviews Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke (credit: CBS)

Walker Connell, a junior at Central High School, told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann he understands the thought behind adding security, but thinks everyone should be wary of what they read online.

“If you believed everything you see on Facebook there’d be a whole lot of miscommunication,” said Connell.

Rourke said whoever is behind the clown hoax could face misdemeanor charges for interference with staff, faculty or students of educational institutions. That crime carries a punishment of up to 18 months in jail.

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.


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