Palm Bay Police On Alert Following Massacre Threat At Middle School

Police increase their presence at Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay following a threat of a massacre.
Police increase their presence at Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay following a threat of a massacre. (Photo: Southwest Middle School)

PALM BAY, Florida – Police didn’t take any chances Thursday or Friday after a threat warning of a massacre planned for Friday at Southwest Middle School.

Palm Bay police increased their presence at the school after the threat was made on social media.

Investigators were on high alert and initially treating the threat seriously, but have since determined that it doesn’t appear to be credible.

“We’re working to make sure the kids are safe,” Palm Bay police Lt. Mike Bandish said. “We’re not taking any chances. We’re working up all leads.”

Bandish said the threat of a massacre at the Southwest Middle School was made from outside the United States using an anonymous app.

The app allows users to search for others who they may know and then send them anonymous messages. The app does not disclose the users’ identities without consent.

Investigators said the warning of a “massacre” at the middle school has been planned for two years.

“Don’t take this as a joke,” the threat said. “It will happen. Watch out for the 17th.”

The school’s principal told parents in a recorded message Thursday evening that extra police officers would be on campus Friday.

Update: Police are no longer treating the threats as credible after investigating with the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Palm Bay police Lt. Mike Bandish said they feel secure that parents of Southwest Middle students can safely send their children to school.

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Raised in Jupiter, Florida, Andy Hodges began his career in the field of radio and TV broadcasting where he worked for about 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies, including Delta Airlines in Atlanta as a Senior Systems Analyst. In 2002, he moved to Sebastian, Florida. Andy is also the Editor-in-Chief for Sebastian Daily.
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