A student at Dyker Heights Intermediate School 201 was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 9 for hacking and duplicating other students’ social media accounts and spreading threats to shoot up the school, cops said.
According to authorities, the student — who is also said to have circulated naked photos to classmates — was apprehended and the school shooting threat was a hoax.
Reports say that the threats began Monday when a female student’s picture was unknowingly used to create a fake Instagram account. The profile, which contained vulgar material, included a post which tagged more than a dozen students’ actual Instagram accounts, and threatened an impending school shooting.
A number of concerned parents phoned the 68th Precinct, prompting a heavy police presence at the school Tuesday morning. Authorities quickly determined that the girl whose picture was the face of the criminal account was not behind the hoax.
The hacker also sent direct messages to students claiming that a rapist had sent the photos and “has now threatened a school shooting and posted numerous photos of himself holding guns.”
Fake or not, local Councilmember Justin Brannan commended authorities’ response to the situation, and urged the passing of a bill he introduced this May that would improve the emergency notification system currently in place in city schools as part of a 10-bill package on improving school security.
“In light of the hoax today at I.S. 201, this is why I’m working to get this bill passed ASAP,” Brannan wrote on Facebook. “Parents and guardians shouldn’t have to rely on social media, rumors and hearsay during times like this.”