El Campo Police Department investigators have determined a photograph circulating on social media with a threatening caption about El Campo Middle School did not originate in El Campo.
Investigators determined the photograph was taken in another city, but the caption containing a shooting threat targeting ECMS was added to the photo before being shared on social media.
ECPD is still investigating and has not named a suspect in the case.
El Campo Middle School was targeted by an anonymous shooting threat Tuesday night, which is being investigated by El Campo police after a photo circulated on social media.
The threat was reported to law enforcement, and El Campo ISD employees are working with police to ensure the safety of students and staff on campus, district leaders say.
“We have an increased police presence, not only at the middle school, but throughout the district,” ECISD Superintendent Bob Callaghan told the Leader-News. “We have informed all of our staff about concerns and things that they can do to be vigilant and to be observant.”
Callaghan did not know whether the person who made the threat is an ECISD student.
“As of this moment in time, I am unaware of any individual who has been identified as being the perpetrator,” he said.
Investigators with the El Campo Police Department became aware of the threat Tuesday night.
“We have no choice but to treat it as a real threat. It will be a priority for investigators,” ECPD Chief Terry Stanphill told the Leader-News.
The threat is believed to have originated on Snapchat, but made its way to Facebook, quickly becoming an item of parental concern.
“ECPD has had two investigators and one SRO out all night trying to find the source,” Stanphill said, but as of press time Wednesday, no arrests had been made.
The Wharton County Sheriff’s Department and the Pierce Station of the Department of Public Safety were called in for assistance as ECPD established a perimeter at the middle school before the doors opened Wednesday.
“We will have a unit in the area most of the day,” Wharton County Sheriff Shannon Srubar said Wednesday. “We will assist ECPD and the community when requested to ensure public safety.”
Access to the middle school building has been limited to two doors while the investigation continues.
“We had eight (officers) on the middle school campus and increased patrols at other campuses,” Stanphill said. “We will continue with additional officers on campus and increased patrols.”
All entering or leaving the campus must pass by both school staff and officers.
“School staff was right there with us this morning. We are working closely with the schools and doing everything we can to assure the safety of the students,” Stanphill said.
If anyone has information on the threat, report it to ECPD at 979-543-5311 or Www.p3tips.com/community/index.htm, West Wharton County Crime Stoppers at 979-543-8477 for a cash reward, to an ECISD campus administrator, or to the ECISD tip reporting line at Www.saysomething.net/#submit_tip.