ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) - An Orangeburg man has been formally charged with threatening Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School through a social media post.
Shakiem Ellison, 23, was charged with disturbing schools and unlawful communication. Sheriff Ravenell asked for Ellison's bond to be denied in light of the seriousness of the incident.
"I think he is a danger to the community," the sheriff said. "This is a very serious time after the incident in Florida."
The threats were made against Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School on Tuesday. Bill Clark, a spokesman for Orangeburg School District 5, said some students at the campus may need mental health counseling after the threats.
"They are afraid," Clark said. "They are afraid of what happened in Florida could happen at our school."
An Orangeburg judge said he is "deeply disturbed" by this incident and set Ellison's bond at $3,237 for the two charges.
"This will not be tolerated for one second," Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said. "Once this type of threat was made, we began searching for the one who made it. After the horrific incident involving a fatal school shooting last week in Florida, this made this type of threat even more heinous."
Ravenell said that around 2 p.m. Tuesday a Facebook post was brought to the attention of investigators as well as Orangeburg County Consolidated School District 5 officials.
The sheriff said that OCSO investigators, U.S. Secret Service agents, and U.S. Marshals began immediately searching for the perpetrator who made a social media post that threatened to "shoot up OW TOMORROW 725 AM?" A second post stated, in part, " we start shooting the slow kids first, I REPEAT SLOW KIDS first! 7:25 AM."
"Acting immediately on this threat, we discovered this individual was posting comments under a false social media name," Ravenell said. "Once this individual was identified, our agents along with Secret Service and US Marshals began an urgent search which resulted in the apprehension of Ellison."
Ellison was tracked by investigators to a home on Kings Road, not far from the very campus he threatened. He was taken into custody around 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.
"This isn't a game, this isn't some joke where every laughs," Ravenell said. "This is a serious act to be involved with and especially at a time such as this when the nation seeks answers. We have our answer to this individual. He'll face a judge and the utmost justice."
Although the threat was ended with the apprehension of the suspect, deputies were still sent to Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School Wednesday morning to reassure parents, students, and school staff that they were well protected.
"We don't believe there is any further threat," Ravenell said. "This individual acted alone."
This is not the only arrest from threats made at various Midlands schools. The Richland County Sheriff's Department arrested Kameron Hilliard and charged him with unlawful communication and disturbing schools for a social media threat he made toward Westwood High.
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