FLINT, Mich. — A 17-year-old Michigan girl is accused of threatening to commit a school shooting “like Oxford,” authorities said Thursday.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said the girl, who attends Flint Southwestern Classical Academy, has been charged with one count of false threat of terrorism and one count of using a computer to commit a crime, WNEM reported.
Each charge carries a 20-year prison sentence if the girl is convicted, the prosecutor’s office said.
An assistant principal at Southwestern Classical Academy was alerted to the incident on Thursday and made a report to police, MLive.com reported.
According to investigators, the student was riding a school bus Thursday morning when she recorded a “rap-style message” video on her cellphone, in which she allegedly made threats of shooting up her school “like Oxford,” WNEM reported.
The video was posted to social media, Leyton said in his news release.
“My message to our community has been loud and clear over the years whenever we have had instances of so-called ‘copycat threats’ following a school shooting or other mass shooting incidents around the country and that message is that it is not a joke, it is a crime and it will be treated as such,” Leyton said in a statement. “I’m not going to try to figure out whether this incident in Flint today was intended to be a joke or whether it was a credible threat, the bottom line is that it’s a crime. Michigan law specifically states that it is not a defense if the person did not have the intent or capability of following through on the threat.”
Authorities have said “copycat threats” have run rampant since Tuesday’s shooting in Oakland County, which is located north of Detroit, MLive.com reported.
As a result, the 21 school district superintendents in Genesee County have decided to close school on Friday, WNEM reported.
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