Parents in Mascoutah are breathing a sigh of relief. Police in the Illinois community had additional officers at the high school Tuesday morning after a 15 year old student, who lives on Scott Air Force Base, made references in text messages to killing everyone he knows, and then killing people at school.
There was no reference of weapons mentioned in the texts. Police Chief Bruce Fleshren says the student was texting his girlfriend Monday night when the threats were made.
Police received information from Mascoutah High School Principal Sandy Jouglard saying she was getting phone calls because there was supposedly information on Facebook about the threats.
Officers began investigating and eventually got to the source. Chief Fleshren says contact was made with the juvenile and his parents and there was no indication that any threats could be carried out. It will be determined by the school if the student returns, and the investigation will be reviewed by the State’s Attorney’s Office after all reports are completed for any possible charges.
The school later released a “robo-call” to advise parents of the situation and that students should attend classes.
There may be an up side to the cold winter St. Louis area residents are enduring this year. Entomologist Chris Hartley tells Fox 2 News the extreme cold now could mean fewer insect pests come spring.
Hartley works at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House at Faust Park. He says some species of flies and ticks have moved north into Missouri because of the mild winters over the past several years.
"By creeping north like that, they're entering ranges where they normally wouldn't have been," Hartley said. "And they are susceptible to maybe getting froze (sic) back some."
Hartley says the deep freeze won't affect the mosquito population, since those pests hibernate.
He also says it may not be quite cold enough to put a dent in the population of the Emerald Ash Borer, like it probably has in Minnesota. But, Hartley says, we won't know until spring.