CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) -
A note on a sidewalk in Chesterfield referencing a teen suicide last year sets off a firestorm after interpretation of the message started rumors that got out of control.
Police say everything is under control now, but the rumors were out of control earlier on Monday. Paranoia overwhelmed the halls at Cosby High School because of a message scribbled on a sidewalk over the weekend that says "JUSTICE FOR CAL STARTS 5/1/14."
"Everybody was going around saying they don't want to come to school in Thursday," says friend Brianna Heller. "They think there's going to be some type of shooting, or people are going to try to shoot people who bullied Cal."
Cal Reilly was a 17-year-old who committed suicide last year and the message that someone wrote in the Hampton Park neighborhood spread from social media to students to terrified parents. Many think something bad would happen on Thursday, May 1.
"They thought someone was going to come in and shoot people who treated Cal wrong," Heller says.
But this may have all been a big misunderstanding. One woman says she knows the person who wrote the message and they just wanted to bring awareness to teen suicide and drug abuse.
The school system sent a note to parents Monday that says "Police have spoken with several neighborhood residents today, and through those conversations have identified an adult who may have written this note."
Police have not said who that person is but as the one year mark of Reilly's death approaches, his friends don't want to focus on the bad stuff - just the positive.
"It's in the past," says Devin Vallejo. "It's not forgotten but it's in the past."
Both police and the Chesterfield school officials stress that no direct threat was ever made, either generally or directed toward Cosby High.