By Deb Patterson
SYRACUSE — Syracuse Police are investigating a potential threat to students at Wawasee High School.
Dr. Steve Troyer, superintendent of Wawasee Community School Corporation, sent a letter to parents of high school students Thursday night after administrators were made aware of the threat. His letter notes the “significant disruption to our school and community has been property mitigated through the hard work of our local law enforcement officials and high school administrators.”
Local social media was filled with information indicating that there might be a shooting at the high school. One of the potential targets provided information to Kosciusko County Sheriff Kyle Dukes, Wawasee School Resource Officer and Syracuse Police Officer Joe Leach and Wawasee High School Assistant Principal Steve Perek Thursday evening. Other potential witnesses to the threat were also interviewed by authorities.
Events began during a lunch period on Wednesday. One of the potential victims was sitting at a lunch table with other students. A student stopped by to talk to one of those at the table. Upon his leaving, one of the students, said to be an upperclassman, made the statement how he felt that student believed he was all muscle. The potential victim made the statement that student was stronger than he looked.
It was then that the upperclassman reportedly made the remark to the group that nobody was stronger than a gun and that he had enough guns and ammunition to shoot up the cafeteria. In response the potential victim stated to the effect real men use their hands. At that time the upperclassman told the potential victim to look him in the eye and made the statement that he was serious.
The comments were disregarded by the potential victim as someone just talking. The potential victim nor the other students who heard the conversation did not notify any school officials at that time.
Social media had numerous posts that evening including one that stated there would be a shooting at Wawasee. It is reported that school officials were aware of the posts and had begun looking into the matter.
According to information received, the threat became more of a reality during lunchtime Thursday, when one of the potential victims was told the upperclassman was on the phone and was asking him and the other student to come out to the parking lot to “settle it.” The student did look outside a window to one of the parking areas and saw the vehicle said to belong to the upperclassman. However, he did not go out of the school building.
Authorities were notified around 4 p.m. It has been learned that police were given additional details of threats being made by the suspect student.