Minneapolis public schools to continue lockdown Thursday

1:34 PM, Mar 11, 2010   |    comments
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Video: Minneapolis schools lockdown continues Thursday

  • Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minneapolis Public Schools remained locked down for a second day because of a vague Internet threat.

The district will keep its 32,000 students indoors again Thursday and all exterior doors locked because of Internet threats traced to computer servers in Australia.

Minneapolis police spokesman Jesse Garcia says someone called the city's 311 information line about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and warned that a posting on a social networking site said a male would be coming to an unspecified school to "shoot up" the place and then shoot himself. That led police to a Facebook page and MySpace page that belong to the Australian teen.

The threat prompted the district to lock down all of its buildings Wedenesday since the threat didn't specify which school was the target.

"The message basically said there was a male out there that was threatening to come to a Minneapolis school, shoot it up, and then shot himself," Garcia said.

District spokeswoman Emily Lowther says the 32,000 students in the district continued to go to class, but access to the buildings was restricted. She says parents were notified of the situation. After school activities will continue as usual.

Angela Hopkins, like 34,000 other parents, received the automated message from the district just before 10 a.m. Wednesday. "It was a little bit alarming and I was kind of scared. If there's a good reason to lock down the school I'm glad they did that," she said after she picked up her 6-year-old daughter from school.

Meantime, St. Paul school Cretin-Derham Hall was also on partial lockdown Wednesday morning after a similar shooting threat. Police have tracked both threats to the same electronic source.
The school locked the building's exterior doors, but still allowed students to move from class to class.

St. Paul Police investigators don't believe the Australian teen has a Minnesota connection; noting that the threat was made on "Derham" school when most people in the metro know it as Cretin Derham Hall.

Both St. Paul and Minneapolis police say there is a possibility that the teen's accounts may have been hacked.

You can follow the latest developments from the district on their website or on Twitter.

(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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