HAMMOND — A 17-year-old girl allegedly admitted to police Thursday she was behind the gun violence threat that put all Hammond public schools on a temporary lockdown Wednesday — the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Lt. Steven Kellogg said the teen — a student at Hammond High School who remains unidentified because of her age — was taken into custody following her confession Thursday and transported to the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center.
The teen is facing a potential intimidation charge, pending the county prosecutor's office acceptance of the charge, Kellogg said.
"We'd like to say thank you to all of the parents of children in our schools. You continually show patience and trust in the Police Department to quickly resolve these situations to keep our kids safe," Kellogg said. "This overnight apprehension of the responsible party in this crime is one more example of how cooperation between the public and the police is an absolute must."
The lockdown also had interrupted a Hammond Area Career Center stair climb in honor of first responders who had died at the World Trade Center.
Hammond police were called Wednesday morning to Hammond High School to investigate the threat reported by students through social media.
A series of photos sent to a handful of students, some attending Hammond High, included a photo of a rifle along with threats to “SHOOT HAMMOND HIGH UP @12.”
Lyle Douglas, a junior at Hammond High, said he was one of several students to receive the threat via Facebook Messenger from an anonymous Facebook account called Hhs Tea.
The account, inactive over the summer, had been known in the past to spread rumors bullying other students, Douglas said, but it never had been responsible for such a threat.
Check back at nwi.com for updates as this story develops.