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Several threats were made regarding Region schools the past week and earlier this month, prompting schools and police to act quickly to investigate.

In Griffith

Authorities were first notified Tuesday of an alleged threat against Griffith High School when students presented a school resource officer with a video by a former student making threats, court records show.

Torin Michael Dillon, 19, formerly of Griffith but who now lives in Indianapolis, faces two counts of intimidation, a level 6 felony, according to police.

Dillon filmed himself on Snapchat threatening to shoot up his former school on Feb. 6, court records show.

He allegedly drove 150 miles from Indianapolis to Griffith High School on Feb. 4 to film the threatening video on Feb. 6, according to an affidavit filed Friday in Lake Criminal Court.

The video starts with Dillon "looking into the camera and then it shows a picture of the east side of Griffith High/Middle School," the affidavit states.

"The picture contains several inches of plowed snow and the administrative/faculty parking lot appears to be full, as it would be during a weekday when school was in session," the affidavit states.

Dillon is then heard saying "B******, shoot you all down," and "Yeah, n****, old stomping groups, I'll shoot this whole sh** up, I don't give no ****," court records state.

The video then switches to Dillon allegedly smoking a cigar or cigarette, according to the affidavit.

Two current female students, both 16, reported the Snapchat video to a school resource officer on Tuesday and turned the footage over to authorities.

A records search shows Dillon recently pawned several items in the Indianapolis area on Feb. 4, 15 and 17, police said in the affidavit.

Dillon was not in custody as of Friday afternoon. A warrant was issued Friday for his arrest.

A current Griffith High School student also was charged this week for inadvertently bringing a gun into school, but school officials said it was a mistake and that he had no ill intentions.

In Gary

Sheriff's detectives arrested a 13-year-old boy at his home Friday night — just hours after he allegedly posted to social media plans to shoot up Lake Ridge Middle School on Monday. 

"Because of this day and age, and what’s going on in the nation, we have to take these threats seriously," Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. said Friday night. 

The boy was expelled three weeks ago from Lake Ridge middle school for disruptive behavior, he said. 

At about noon, the teen posted on a social media site his plans to shoot up "whoever showed up" to school on Monday, Martinez said. 

Martinez said friends and acquaintances of the boy brought the post to a school resource officer's attention and the Lake County Sheriff's Department assigned its Special Victims Unit to investigate, Martinez said. 

The 13-year-old, whose name is not being released because of his juvenile status, was booked at the Lake County Juvenile Center on felony charges of intimidation using a firearm, a level 6 felony, and harrasment by making threats through a website, a level 5 felony. 

"These are serious threats regardless of if they are done out of spite or anger. We take them all serious," Martinez said. "It's time for parents to sit down with their children, and discuss what they do on social media (have consequences.)"

In Munster

A possible threat at St. Thomas More Elementary School was reported to police earlier this month, investigated and deemed not credible, police said.

Munster police were notified of the possible threat about 7 p.m. Feb. 7 and opened an investigation, Lt. Ed Strbjak said.

Police worked with school officials to investigate, and the possible threat was determined not to be credible, he said.

The school handled communication with parents and student discipline. If anyone has any additional information, they can call police, Strbjak said.

The Catholic Diocese of Gary declined to comment.

"We do not comment on student discipline matters for reasons of student privacy," Joe Majchrowicz, director of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Gary, said in an email.

Jay Harker, school principal, said Friday he was limited on what he could say about the situation, citing student privacy. 

"We called the police to investigate. They completed their investigation and we completed ours, taking disciplinary action as needed," Harker said in an email.

In Chesterton

A parent upset after being contacted about the welfare of her Brummitt Elementary School student triggered an emergency response this week after posting on Facebook what was interpreted as a threat to the school's principal.

When the post was brought to the attention of officials at the Duneland School Corp., the parent was contacted and the post was removed, Superintendent Ginger Bolinger said.

"I think she realized it was not appropriate," Bolinger said.

The post did not appear on a school Facebook page, but it was noticed by other parents, she said.

The situation was investigated by the district's Director of Security Mike Kellems and Chesterton Police Resource Officer Chris Swickard, according to a letter sent out Thursday to school parents.

"The issue has been investigated and resolved," the letter said. "Your children are safe to continue with their education and school activities."

"Please know that any kind of taunting messages or threats against the school will not be tolerated," the letter continued. "Foolish posts on Facebook create fear in the community."

Parents are encouraged to contact school officials with any concerns, "to have a meaningful discussion."

Bolinger said the schools will be sending out details on school safety protocols to parents and the public.

"We care about our children and will go to any length to keep them safe," the letter said.

Times staffers Sarah Reese, Lauren Cross, Carmen McCollum and Bob Kasarda contributed to this report.


Assistant Local News Editor