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Student, 13, charged with terrorizing after Bangor area school threat

The 13-year-old student is accused of contributing to a threat that caused lockdowns and a heavy police response.

ORONO, Maine — A Bangor student was charged Wednesday with terrorizing following the reported threat of a possible shooter at schools in the area.

The student, whose name was not released, is accused of contributing to the threat, which prompted lockdowns and a heavy, multi-level police response.

That student was released to a parent on Thursday, according Bangor Police Sgt. Wade Batters. 

Bangor Police Det. Sgt. Brent Beaulieu said several students in Bangor learned of threats of violence toward two of the district's schools, which were earlier identified as the high school and James F. Doughty School, a middle school.

He said the threats originated from a fictitious social media account.

Numerous interviews were conducted, Sgt. Beaulieu said, and with the assistance of internet service providers, investigators were able to quickly identify a suspect – a 13-year-old student within the Bangor Public Schools district.

That teenager was arrested and charged with terrorizing, a class C felony.

The case is being presented to the Penobscot County District Attorney's Office.

A report of a possible shooter affected schools in both Bangor and Orono, though it wasn't immediately clear if the threats shared the same origin.

A school or schools in Old Town reportedly also were affected by a threat, however, that had not been independently confirmed.

Bangor Police Sgt. Wade Betters wrote in a release sent at about 10 a.m. that authorities had "no reason to believe there was an ongoing or imminent threat at [the Bangor schools]" and that police would continue to monitor the situation.

Sgt. Betters initially classified the threat as being "anonymous."

"Today was one of the times where we received information and we wanted to show up and good strong officer presence to reassure people that we would take care of anything," Betters said. 

Simultaneously, Bangor Superintendent of Schools Betsy Webb said in a tweet that the lockdown at the Bangor schools had been lifted.

Webb reminded all of the "if you see something, say something" public awareness expression. "Safety is a top priority and individuals responsible will be held accountable," she said.

In Orono. police said they got a radio transmission at about 8 a.m. from a regional emergency communications center reporting an "active shooter" at the high school. Officers responded, entered the school and activated a lockdown.

Police Chief Josh Ewing said students and staff all went to their rooms and locked doors. Nearby roads were temporarily closed down.

In a release sent shortly after 11 a.m., Chief Ewing said officers determined there was no active threat and that all Orono schools were safe.

"It appears that a miscommunication led to a call to [Penobscot Regional Communications Center] regarding the threat," Ewing said.

Agencies that responded to the threat response in Orono included local police from Old Town, Veazie and the University of Maine; the Penobscot County Sheriff's Office; the Bureau of Motor Vehicles; and Maine State Police.

Many high school students in Bangor were seen leaving early with parents. Classes were expected to continue as normal.

Several agencies responded quickly to the apparent social media threat. Chief Ewing said the threat came at the worst time of the day.

"All the students were in the hall, the doors were open but the teachers and students reacted wonderfully," Ewing said. 

Superintendent Webb initially tweeted the following: 

All Bangor schools are currently in lockdown due to an alleged social media threat to the Doughty School and Bangor High. Students are safe in the schools. We are working with the Bangor Police who are on site at all schools. We will keep parents informed.

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