Investigators: No Specific Threat to Athens, OU< < Back to
A threat that caused the closure of all Athens City Schools has been found not to be a threat to the area.
Law enforcement received word of a threat posted on the social media app Yeti, which was connected to an “Ohio University” group, at about 5:30 a.m. this morning, according to Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith. Because of the short amount of time to investigate before schools would be opening for the day, investigators notified school officials, who decided to close.
Alexander Local Schools, Athens City Schools, Federal Hocking Local Schools, First Friends Pre-School and Daycare, Growing Tree Preschool, Hocking Valley Day School, Nelsonville-York City Schools, Tri-County Career Center, Beacon schools and Trimble Local Schools are closed today. Buses stopping their routes and returning students home.
The threat was made in the form of a video of a fair-skinned hand holding what Smith believed was a Glock semi-automatic piston, cocking the gun and pointing it away from the camera. The words “tomorrow American #students will #die. Some of u are ok. Don’t go to school tomorrow” is superimposed on the screen above the gun.
“Although it was initially believed that the post was made to the ‘Ohio University’ group – thus tying the threat to Athens – further investigation has revealed this was not the case,” stated a release sent out by the sheriff’s office, the Ohio University Police Department and the Athens Police Department at about 3:15 p.m. Friday.
The investigation showed that the video was posted by a user in Europe, according to the release, and the user was not affiliated with any group on the social media app. Though the user was a part of the Ohio University group, the person who reported the video saw it because of the keywords used, not a specific location.
“Based on this latest information, we do not believe there is any specific threat to Athens or Ohio University at this time,” the release stated.
Law enforcement commended the person who reported the video, “as it is always best to take threats seriously,” they wrote in the release.