A junior at Cedar Ridge High School was arrested this morning after a threat to shoot up the school was found scratched into a bathroom stall earlier this month. He is the second student arrested in connection to a threat against the school in three weeks.

A third threat at the school in that same time period has yet to lead to an arrest. 

Alex Massey, seventeen, was charged with communicating a threat of mass violence at a school. He was arraigned at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Bail was set at $10,000.

Massey’s arrest came the same day a sixteen-year-old in Santa Clarita, California, reportedly shot and killed two fellow students and injured three others before shooting himself in the head before classes began. 

A student discovered the threat scratched into the paint on the wall of a bathroom stall on November 4. Police are not releasing the wording, because “we don’t want it quoted,” spokeswoman Alicia L. Stemper told the INDY

Three days later, on November 7, someone wrote, “11/14 im shooting up this bitch” in marker on the floor of the gym, according to an image of the threat obtained by the INDY. No arrests have been made, but police continue to investigate that incident “with incredible attention,” Stemper says. 

The first incident occurred on October 25, when eighteen-year-old Dylan George sent a threat against the school in a text message. He was arrested that day and charged with communicating a threat of mass violence at a school. 

The series of threats have shaken the community, producing “extreme anxiety,” Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in a statement. “They have also generated a significant financial burden for law enforcement. … A threat like this endangers more than just the school; it places our entire community at risk.”

Police have no choice but to take every threat seriously and notify the community, Stemper adds: “How do you say, we believe this one is a hoax even if the odds are …? Unfortunately, school threats are made. Fortunately, most don’t come to fruition, but do you want to make the call that we’re not going to investigate this? You see, it’s an impossible position.”

Indeed, Cedar Ridge’s now-former principal and a school resource officer came under fire in May after the INDY broke the news that they had failed to report several mass-shooting threats this spring. (No arrests have been made in those threats.) After a tumultuous opening to the 2019–20 school year, principal Intisar Hamidullah was reassigned

After discovering the November 4 threat, Cedar Ridge added more staff to monitor hallways and instituted hourly checks in the bathrooms. The school also plans to add more cameras and increase its police presence. 

“Our students can assist in keeping Cedar Ridge the welcoming and safe campus we know it is by reporting any suspicious behavior immediately to a staff member, not allowing strangers to access campus, reporting threats, communicating any personal safety concerns, and joining friends and peers in accessing emotional supports by talking to our school counselors,” school administrators wrote to parents Monday.

Police are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction connection with the threat found on the gym floor.

Contact Raleigh news editor Leigh Tauss at ltauss@indyweek.com. 

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