Juvenile charged in active shooter hoax at Moody Middle School: ‘We don’t take these lightly’

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — After a minor was charged in connection to an active shooter hoax at Moody Middle School in Henrico County, police now have a message for students and parents.

8News is told the juvenile is a Henrico County student who was charged with misdemeanor false summoning of law enforcement after a prank call sent Moody Middle School into lockdown last month. The juvenile was admitted into detention Tuesday.

“We don’t take these lightly,” said Lt. Matt Pecka, Public Information Officer for Henrico County Police.

Police responded in vast numbers after a ‘Text to 911’ that said there was an active shooter inside the school.

“An active shooter situation requires all hands on deck,” Pecka told 8News. “We have no alternative other than to respond as if it were the real thing.”

Police soon determined there was no shooter. Parents frantically gathered nearby, waiting to get answers and pick up their children.

“It did instill panic in the community,” Lt. Pecka said. “Nationwide, we’ve seen tragic loss.”

However, this was not the first time a prank call like this happened at a Henrico County school.

In November, police responded to Brookland Middle School after a threatening phone call. Pecka said a juvenile was charged in that case.

Just several weeks ago, social media threats prompted a ‘lock and teach’ at Godwin and Tucker High Schools.

“It’s really hard to speculate why a juvenile makes these decisions,” Lt. Pecka explained. “There could be a variety of factors, whether it’s attention, whether there’s something going on that day they’re trying to get out of.”

He has a message for parents, students and the Henrico community about how serious these false alarms are.

“Placing that 911 call should strictly be for those in need of assistance, and we really want the parents and our community to drive that to their children,” he said.

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