Police: Facebook threat prompts lockdown of Ilion schools

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - All three schools were placed on lockdown for a portion of the morning Monday after officials say a threat was made on Facebook.

"In response to reports from local police of a threat of domestic violence, Ilion Central School District instituted a lockdown of all three schools," said School District Communication Specialist Cuyle Rockwell in a statement. "All children are safe inside the buildings. Under a lockdown, no one may enter or exit the buildings for any reason. Police are currently investigating the threat. We have no additional information, but will post updates on the district website as they become available."

According to Ilion Police, around 7:30 on Monday morning, they started receiving multiple calls from people who were concerned about messages they said had been posted by a Facebook user on the social networking site. Police said that while the content of the messages did not directly threaten any specific target location, individual or group of individuals, the messages were threatening enough to create concern by those reading the messages.

Police said that until the whereabouts of the Facebook account user who had posted the messages could be verified, authorities contacted the Ilion Central School District, advising them to be placed on temporary lockdown.

After authorities located and questioned the Facebook user believed to have posted the messages, investigators said they were told the individual had lost his cell phone the previous day and did not place the threatening messages on the social network site.

"At this time, the Ilion Police are continuing to investigate the matter and are attempting to locate the person(s) responsible for sending the messages using another person's Facebook account and cell phone," said Captain L.A. DaVaul in a statement. "At no time does it appear that the threatening messages were anything more than a prank."

The lockdown was lifted shortly before Noon and police said at no time does it appear that the students in the Ilion Central School District were in danger and that they were only placed on lockdown until the Facebook account user could be located and questioned.

The name and address of the individual involved within the incident is not being released, police said, adding that the individual was later able to access his Facebook account using another computer to change his passwords, along with removing the threatening messages that had been posted to his account. Police said that the individual has also contacted his cell phone carrier in order to cancel his service pending the issuance of a new cell phone and number.

Ilion Police say they want people to remember the importance of protecting and securing their private passwords and avoid leaving personal accounts (including social media and financial institutions) open to anyone who may access their cell phones.

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