Charlottesville police are working to determine whether an online threat that closed Charlottesville schools Thursday and prompted an increased police presence at Albemarle schools is credible, a police spokesman said Thursday morning.
As of 11 a.m., police said they are still investigating the source and veracity of an online post that threatened a school shooting at Charlottesville High School.
Investigators have yet to identify the poster and have not determined if the individual was an adult, student or someone who lives in Charlottesville, according to spokesman Tyler Hawn. He declined to go into specifics about the nature or content of the threat. But a Reddit post that began circulating Wednesday night included a screenshot of a post from a separate online forum that threatened an ethnic cleansing in the form of a school shooting and told white students at Charlottesville High to stay home. The person who posted the threat claimed to be a Charlottesville student.
The Reddit thread said the original post came from “the Chans,” referring to the message boards 4chan and 8chan, which are frequented by white supremacists. The sites were banned in New Zealand in the wake of last week’s mosque shooting for hosting a video of the shooting.
Police received an email on Wednesday about a possible threat for Thursday, according to a news release.
Charlottesville schools announced Thursday’s closure on Wednesday night.
“Again, the safety of our student and students is our first priority,” the division wrote in an email.
Hawn said the decision to close was a safety precaution and made by the police department and school division.
Anyone with information is asked to contact city police at (434) 970-3280 or CrimeStoppers at (434) 977-4000.