Police solve 'hit list' case that targeted students at Ledyard High School

Ledyard High School. (WFSB file photo)

Police said they solved a "hit list" case involving a Ledyard High School student who posted it on a social media.

Ledyard police said a young person was identified and charged on Saturday with second-degree breach of peace and second-degree threatening.

A court date was also handed down to the juvenile.

Police did not release any other details.

They originally said an account called "lhs_shooter" posted the "hit list" to Instagram on Thursday. It contained a male and female student from each grade.

While they didn't believe the threat is credible, police said they stationed officers at the school to put the minds of students and staff at ease.

"They had a police presence here at the school, which made the kids feel safer and as a parent myself too and for my child," parent of Ledyard High School student Cecilia Trujillo said. "Cause he was a little concerned about it."

Principal Amanda Fagan sent out a letter to the community on Thursday during which she said curbing fears caused by rumors and not fueling the spread of those rumors is a delicate balance.

"We need to rule out any credible threat, but we also need to avoid shining a spotlight on bad behavior in order to deter the appeal for copycats," she wrote. "We have an obligation to protect all of our students, even those accused of wrongdoing, particularly when the accusations are incorrect."

Fagan said the rumor suggested that a student had hit list plans on Friday.

Detectives conducted interviews to learn who created the account. They also worked with Facebook to determine its source and IP addresses. Police said they explored every avenue regardless of the credibility and wanted to prevent spreading panic.

"It's caused some alarm. It's caused an alarm for students and parents," Ledyard Police Chief John Rich said. "There's been a lot of misinformation that's been passed along both face-to-face and on social media, so we want to calm those fears."

At the time, Fagan said that a student was identified; however, there was nothing to suggest a threat.

"We reviewed many social media platforms, and though the student at the center of these rumors does post some inflammatory things, none of those posts constitutes a specific threat to Ledyard High School students," Fagan wrote.

Fagan said later that day, she learned of the Instagram account.

"Creating such an account will result in very serious legal and school consequences," she said.

Rich said his investigators followed several leads including multiple social media and website accounts. Rich said didn't want to identify any suspects.

By dismissal on Friday, most students said they had seen the post.

"Everybody was talking about it quite a bit," Ledyard High School student Joshua Trujillo said. "I knew some people on there. It's very interesting as to why someone would do that."

Rich said they would see how this situation developed before deciding if extra officers would be at Ledyard High School on Monday.

Cecilia Trujillo said after speaking with the school principal and hearing from police that the hit list is likely a tasteless joke. Cecilia Trujillo said she hopes whoever is responsible learns a gets caught soon and learns a valuable lesson.

"It's not a nice thing to do to put teenagers unease with everything they have going on in the world," Cecilia Trujillo said.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Digital Content Producer

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