Following a threat issued by a student over social media aimed at Carrboro High School, officials with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office aided the Carrboro Police Department in an investigation Thursday.
The threat, which was reported by a student, appeared on Snapchat Thursday morning. In the picture, a student was seen holding a handgun and the text in the post stated that all students who attended school Thursday would be in danger. An additional post threatened that the student had access to more weapons.
The Carrboro Police Department acquired a search warrant for a residence off Smith Level Road. Because the property is not in Carrboro city limits, authorities with Orange County Sheriff’s Office served the warrant.
Investigators confiscated a handgun and 380 grams of marijuana found between 17 glass containers at the residence. Authorities interviewed the father of the student who appeared in the Snapchat post, and charged Orontes Rogers, 38, with maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for use, storage, or sale of controlled substances; possession of a firearm by a felon; and felony possession of marijuana, according to the joint statement sent out by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Carrboro Police Department. Rogers also received a misdemeanor charge for failure to store a firearm to protect a minor.
Authorities discovered that the Snapchat post with a student holding a gun was posted several days ago, and another student saved the image and added the name of the person in the photo as well as incorporated threatening language to the post.
“This was a situation where a student exhibited extremely poor judgement by posting a photo of himself holding a weapon on social media,” Sheriff Blackwood stated in the joint release. “Another student compounded the problem by modifying that photo and generating a threat of school violence. Social media is a powerful tool for connecting people, but it is also a dangerous tool when used inappropriately, which is certainly what happened here today. And the father’s failure to properly secure the weapon led to these events.”
Carrboro Police Department Chief Walter Horton expressed his thankfulness in resolving the situation swiftly.
“A school safety threat obviously represents a danger to the students and staff at the threatened school,” Horton stated in the release. “Even when the threat turns out to be a hoax, the community experiences increased anxiety, school attendance suffers, and frightened parents flood the roadways attempting to get to their children. I am pleased we were able to resolve this matter quickly.”
A magistrate placed Rogers under a $30,000 secured bond after his arrest. His first apperance in court is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday.