Twitterverse lights up with rumor of gun at Fairfax school

It was just a rumor. Fairfax County police and public school officials moved quickly to knock it down.

But for a while Thursday morning Twitter was buzzing with a report that a student had brought a gun to Robinson Secondary School near George Mason University. Police report the rumor began after a 15-year-old student posted a picture of himself, on social media Tuesday evening, holding a toy gun. Other students saw his post, shared it over social media, and rumors began to spread about a potential school shooting.

Early Thursday morning an anonymous student emailed the school’s tip line and reported a possible threat of violence at the school, stemming from that social media post. Officers interviewed the student who posted the picture and he admitted to bringing the toy gun to school. He led officers to a creek near the school where he had placed it.

Investigators say there was never a threat or any danger to students. No threats were made on social media and the student had no access to real weapons.

Meanwhile, school security officers report that on Wednesday, they found Schedule II narcotics on the student who made the post. Drug charges against him are now pending.

Fairfax County police, in a written statement, said “We commend the student who came forward anonymously with the concerns and continue to encourage anyone with information on potential school threats to do the same. Regardless of the source, we take all threats seriously and investigate each one swiftly and thoroughly. We work closely with Fairfax County Public Schools to maintain a safe environment for our children.”



About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.