Two teenagers have been arrested in separate school threats in Pennsylvania and California in the wake of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, according to media reports.
The Waynesboro (Pa.) Police Department said on its website Thursday that it received a complaint of a social media post late Tuesday night showing a picture of a masked person with a handgun.
"The message stated that students should not go to school today," the police website said, prompting a police investigation and notification of the local school district.
"Investigators from our department as well as assistance from the District Attorney's office determined that the account from which the threat emanated was fictitious and that the individual named on the account was not involved in creating or disseminating the threatening message," the police department post said.
As a result, schools were closed on Wednesday, though teachers were asked to go to work because the threat was determined to be a hoax and teachers were safe, Waynesboro Area School District Superintendent Tod Kline told WHTM.
"With the events of the last couple weeks ... we felt we had to leave the kids home, it would have been tough for any parent to send their kids," Kline added.
A search warrant was executed, and a 14-year-old male was identified as the person who allegedly created the account and made the threat, according to police. The teen was charged with one felony count of terroristic threats, one misdemeanor count of terroristic threats and one felony count of criminal use of a communications facility.
The teen is being held in detention awaiting a hearing.
Meanwhile, the Berkeley (Calif.) Police Department arrested a 16-year-old one day earlier after getting a tip he had been attempting to recruit other students at his high school to join him in a mass shooting and/or bombing at Berkeley High School.
"On Saturday, May 21st, we received a tip that a 16-year-old boy had attempted to recruit other high school students to participate in a school shooting at Berkeley High School that included explosives," a police department press release said. A search warrant of the teen's residence reportedly turned up "parts to explosives and assault rifles, several knives, and electronic items that could be used to create additional weapons."
The teen turned himself in to Berkeley police on Sunday and was arrested on suspicion of possessing destructive device materials and threatening to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury.
"We recognize the impact this news may have on our community," BPD said. "In addition to the School Resource Officer, all officers have access to a range of training and equipment that provide them the protection, skills and ability to rapidly respond to in-progress violence."
The case remains under investigation.
Police and other law enforcement experts have feared copycat crimes and threats since the deaths of 19 elementary students and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, last week at the hands of an 18-year-old suspect who entered the school through an unlocked door and barricaded himself in a classroom of 10- and 11-year-olds for more than an hour before officers gained entry with a janitor's key and shot him dead.
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