Two teens charged over social media threat at Lincoln-Way East

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FRANKFORT (STMW) - Though they claim it was just a hoax, two southwest suburban high school students are facing charges after they posted a threat on social media about shootings at their school.

Will County sheriff’s deputies took two 15-year-old boys into custody about noon Wednesday following the threat against Lincoln-Way East High School at 201 Colorado Ave. in Frankfort, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.

The FBI discovered the threat posted on social media, and searched the school along with administrative staff and sheriff’s deputies. Nothing was found, police said.

The “fabricated” chat group post, which claimed to be from a Chicago news organization, reported “numerous injuries occurred today at a Frankfort high school,” the sheriff’s office said.

The FBI located a possible suspect, a 15-year-old sophomore at Lincoln-Way East, but when questioned with his parents at their home, it was discovered the threat was actually posted by someone else, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators searched for the IP address that did send the message, and the two other boys were picked up at the school and brought in for questioning.

“Both boys made statements indicating that the posted threats to an online chat group were a ploy in order to get another juvenile into trouble,” the sheriff’s office said. They also indicated “they never intended to harm anyone.”

Both teens are being charged with felony disorderly conduct, and more charges are possible, according to the sheriff’s office.  They will be held at the River Valley Juvenile Justice Center in Joliet until a court hearing on Thursday.

Extra deputies were at the school Wednesday, and parents were notified of the incident via email.