A 14-year-old juvenile was arrested Monday in Lee County for telephoning a threat of a violent attack at a North Mississippi public school.
The telephone threat was not specific as to which school in which north Mississippi County was threatened. One official source told NEMiss.News that the call was “pinged” from a cell phone tower close to the intersection of Highway 348 and Highway 45. That location is in northern Lee County, not far from the Prentiss County line.
Federal law enforcement authorities picked up the threat through its routine monitoring of phone calls, social media and other electronic traffic. Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards said he got the call from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about 8:30 p.m., Sunday, January 6, 2022, telling him of the threat. Edwards said he had Chief Deputy Baron Baker relay the threat to the New Albany Police Department. Lieutenant Scotty Reedy of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to NEMiss.News Monday that his department also received the information from the FBI Sunday night.
Following up on the information received from the FBI, investigators of the Lee County Sheriff’s department arrested the juvenile Monday morning. Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson said, “We were able to track down the suspect fairly quickly with these resources and the suspect has been taken into custody without incident this morning around 9:30.” Johnson also said, “There was no indication that the suspect had any means or any ways to carry out this threat. However, any threat made towards schools, students or staff is taken very seriously and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent. We want to give a special thanks to the FBI, the Lee County Sheriff’s investigators, and Lee County Schools. Their dedication to help the community and schools helped solve this case and protect our children…”
Although School Resource Officers (SROs) and extra police officers were deployed this morning at many schools in several counties within a wide radius of the cell phone tower, most schools opened on time without incident. New Albany Schools Superintendent Lance Evans said school began normally and continued after being notified of the arrest late Monday morning.