Investigators with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) arrested 17-year-old Alex Massey today for communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property. Massey, of Hillsborough, is a junior at Cedar Ridge High School.
The Cedar Ridge community received three threats in the two-week period between October 25 and November 7. Massey’s charges stem from the second of those threats, a message scratched into a bathroom stall. The threat, which a student reported to the school on Monday, November 4, indicated there would be a shooting at the school the next day.
Late last month, the OCSO arrested 18-year-old Dylan George, of Mebane, for the first of the three threats. His arrest followed a threat communicated via text message from a third party number. Communicating a threat of mass violence on educational property is a class H felony and carries a maximum sentence of 39 months in prison.
Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said, “Threats like these are very serious matters. They produce an extreme amount of anxiety, they interfere with the academic process, and they are very expensive to the community. They concentrate law enforcement efforts in a specific geographical place, leaving other parts of the county with fewer resources at their disposal for emergency response, routine patrol, and proactive measures. A threat like this endangers more than just the school; it places our entire community at risk.”
Massey’s arrest followed a detailed investigation into the graffiti. Although Sheriff Blackwood authorized a $2,500 reward in the case, no one qualified for the reward. Investigators solved the case using other techniques.
According to Dr. Monique Felder, Superintendent of Orange County Schools, “Safety is our number one goal. Threats of violence against our students and school community are serious offenses. I am grateful to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the administration at Cedar Ridge High School for their contained efforts to keep us safe.”
A $2,500 reward is still available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the third threat, one located on the gymnasium floor on November 7. In that threat, the author indicated he or she planned gun violence at the school on November 14. The investigation into that crime is ongoing. Any student with information should get in contact with either of the school resource officers (Corporal Jon Daniel or Corporal Jason Wagner) or ask a teacher or administrator to facilitate such contact.
Upon arrest, Massey received a $10,000 secured bond. He is expected to make his first appearance in court at 2 pm today.