By: Melanie Williamson
Saturday evening, a 16-year-old girl was arrested after posting a photo of a male teen holding what looked like a real gun on Snapchat with the caption, “Did someone say mass shooting?” Another local teen saw the snapchat post and brought it to the attention of a counselor at Vermilion High School, who immediately forwarded it to the vice principal, who in turn forwarded it to the student resource officer, Brian Beckwith.
Officer Beckwith then contacted the Erie County Sheriff’s Department for jurisdictional reasons. It was the sheriff’s department that investigated the incident by going to the home of the young man in the photo. It was then determined that the gun in the photo was a BB gun, and the girl, who took and posted the photo was also at his house.
According to the report, she asserted it was just a “joke” and it was “stupid.” She was charged with aggravated menacing and taken to Erie County Detention Center. According to Ohio Revised Code, aggravated menacing is defined as knowingly causing another person to believe the offender will cause serious physical harm.
Officer Beckwith shared that from the time the post was first reported by the student to the time the sheriff’s department was involved was very short. Everyone that became aware of the situation responded quickly and appropriately. While the situation was handled quickly, Officer Beckwith stayed at the school through the musical as extra precaution and visibility.