Chief Bierling comments on threat at Sault High

SAULT STE MARIE, MI — On Thursday around 0939hrs, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Department responded to the Sault Area High School for a threat made towards the high school. When we responded, school leadership had already taken precautionary safety measures by placing its high school building in a “secure mode”. School leadership reported they had received two independent reports of a 15-year-old Sault High student made suggestive threats, via social media and cellular phone technology, towards the high school. The threats suggested acts of violence with a firearm towards those in the school. The student was not in attendance today at the high school.

We began our investigation immediately and quickly discovered the student was in the St. Ignace area. We coordinated with the St. Ignace Police Department, and they were able to take the student into custody shortly thereafter. The student has since been lodged at the Sault Tribe Detention Facility on the charge of “Making Terrorist Threat”, which for an adult is a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or a fine of not more than $20,000, or both. We will not be releasing the student’s name.

Following the incident at Oxford High School, threats made towards schools in both the lower and upper peninsulas have skyrocketed. The Sault Ste. Marie Police Department and the Chippewa County Prosecutor’s Office absolutely cannot and will not tolerate these types of actions or behaviors. Rest assured, we will investigate and prosecute anyone and everyone who makes threats, allows threats, or facilitates threats towards the students, staff, or buildings of our schools.

Parents and guardians, please talk to your children and teach them that ALL threats, even those made idly, are wrong, dangerous, and cannot be tolerated.

We would like to thank the following agencies for their swift response, assistance, and cooperation: St. Ignace Police Department, Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department, Chippewa County Central Dispatch, Chippewa County Prosecutor’s Office, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police-Sault Ste. Marie Post, and Sault Tribe Police Department.

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