A 14-year-old and an 18-year-old have been charged with one count each of felony terroristic threats after allegedly threatening to commit school shootings at Rome Middle and Rome High through social media over the past two days.
According to a Rome Police Department news release:
The 14-year-old was charged Thursday after he made a threatening social media post. He posted a photo to Instagram of himself holding a firearm while threatening to commit a shooting at Rome Middle.
Information concerning the post was passed on to the school resource officer who began an investigation that ultimately led to a charge being filed. His name was not released and it was not confirmed if he was a Rome Middle student.
"No further information will be released on this incident due to the offender's age," the release stated.
On Friday morning, around 7:30 a.m., Rome police had been on the campus of Rome High investigating "alleged threats of violence made via social media." An other threat was disclosed by a student, who reported receiving a Snapchat post about a "second potential threat" at the high school.
Members of the criminal investigation division found information indicating the "threatening post" originated from Joseph Quadarius Kinnebrew, of 792 John Davenport Drive. According to a warrant for his arrest, "the threats made were of a planned school shooting at 1:19 p.m."
Rome Assistant Chief Debbie Burnett said police confirmed the school has a bell that rings right at 1:19 p.m. to change classes.
Kinnebrew told police he meant it as a joke, Burnett said. However, that is not a joke and police had to take criminal action, she continued.
Kinnebrew was arrested and was in Floyd County Jail without bond Friday night.
In both cases, police were able to find the suspects behind the threatening messages before any potential violent action took place at the school campuses — both at 1000 Veterans Memorial Highway.
"No weapons were found on either school campus. No shots were fired. No persons were injured," the release stated.
Also on Friday morning, Floyd County police had an increased police presence around Pepperell middle and high schools, Maj. Jeff Jones said. There had been rumors about an alleged threat at the two schools Thursday night that started after the arrest of a 17-yearold Rockmart High student, he continued.
Zoriah Erin McCrae was arrested Thursday on two counts of terroristic threats and acts after a police investigation concluded she had sent a Snapchat message threatening violence at Cedartown and Rockmart high schools.
Jones said there were no direct threats against Pepperell schools.
"Nonetheless we're gonna have to act on it," he said of any possible threats.