Shepard High School Student Arrested at Home in Worth, Illinois After Gun Images Posted on Snapchat

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Cook County Sheriff’s police arrested a student at his family’s home in Worth Sunday February 11, 2018 after receiving reports that he allegedly posed with an assault rifle in images uploaded and shared on social media. One of the photos mentioned Shepard High School in Palos Heights (Community High School District 218).

The Shepard High School student, who mentioned the Palos Heights high school by name in the caption of a photo, did not write an explicit threat of a shooting at the school, but Principal Greg Walder said the image was perceived as a direct threat against Shepard High School.

Shepard High School Principal Greg Walder said he first heard of the photos from a parent, whose child had seen the images shared on social media. Walder contacted Shepard High School’s head of security, who relayed the information to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office about 4:20 p.m. Sunday, February 11, 2018. The total time from awareness by Principal Greg Walder until the report to the sheriff’s office was less than two hours.

At least three photos were allegedly shared by the student on Snapchat …

one image showing a gun,

one image of the suspect holding the gun, and

one image of the suspect holding the gun with a caption that specifically mentioned Shepard High School.

The gun in the images is reported to be an AK-47 that was legally owned by another person.

No injuries were reported, no guns were located at the boy’s residence, and there was no evidence discovered that showed the suspect was inside Shepard High School while possessing a gun.

The 15-year-old freshman attending Shephard High School was charged as a juvenile with disorderly conduct, a Class 4 misdemeanor. Information about school suspension or custody of the freshman was not available.

Shepard High School staff and parents were notified about the incident immediately after the arrest.

The student, who initially discovered the photos and notified his parents, was credited for his action. Walder said he and school staff have repeatedly tried to ingrain in students how important it is to report suspicious or threatening social media activity to an adult.

About 1700 to 1800 students attend Alan B. Shepard High School from the communities of Palos Heights, Crestwood, Worth, Alsip, Robbins, and Calumet Park.

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