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Male youth arrested at McMath after 'Columbine shooting' threat

Martin van den Hemel   May-30-2017

McMath Secondary School in Steveston.

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A male youth has been arrested at McMath secondary in connection with Tuesday’s securing of the school following serious threats including a “Columbine shooting”.

RCMP Cpl. Dennis Hwang said the suspect is not known to police but he wouldn’t give the boy’s age or say whether he’s a McMath student.

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Asked if charges are pending, Hwang said that’s too early to say. And the investigation is ongoing, he noted.

“We’re happy this resolved safely and we apologize for any inconvenience,” Hwang said.

Police on Monday began to investigate Wi-Fi SSID spoofing incidents at McMath. Wi-Fi SSID spoofing involves phony Wifi access points that are used to lure wireless device users (smart phones, tablets, laptops) and exposes these electronic devices to cyber attacks that could compromise their personal, professional or financial information and result in dire consequences.

Two Twitter users posted iPhone screenshots of those Wi-Fi access points labelled “columbine shooting”, “School Shooting tmrw”, “don’t come to school tmrw”, and “runaway right now.”

But Hwang told The Richmond Sentinel that the threats went well beyond the names of those Wi-Fi access points.

Hwang also clarified that unlike what media reported initially, there was no lockdown at the school, as people were permitted to leave the school once cleared and there was no perimeter set up around the school

McMath secondary school in Steveston was secured around 11 a.m. after a “series of threats directed towards the school,” Richmond Mounties said Tuesday morning in a press release.

Students were told of a “credible threat against Jewish and LBGTQ students.”

A student who was inside the school during the police investigation Tuesday texted a friend outside the school to say that everyone was safe, that there were police everywhere, but that the students were told they “may have to take cover under the tables.”

Hwang said in the press release: “The Richmond RCMP takes all reports of threats to the safety of students or teachers in our community very seriously. We have conducted a comprehensive safety assessment along with the Richmond School District. Based on this assessment, a decision was made to hold and secure the school.”

Hwang said the nature of the threat and specifics surrounding the threat will not be disclosed as the investigation remains ongoing and active.


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