A bomb threat potentially targeting local schools made this morning on social media is currently under investigation by local and other law enforcement agencies. All city and county schools were swept, searched, and cleared before classes started, and nothing was found.
Mayor Tim Kyle said the message — posted on Snapchat — was vague and targeted no specific school or school district, but it mentioned a vocational-tech center and football fields.
Kyle said it has been determined through conversations with the FBI and other agencies that this message is spreading elsewhere throughout central Mississippi. The origin of the threat remains under investigation by the Kosciusko Police Department, Attala County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, and other local agencies.
“Kosciusko Police Department takes all threats very seriously and they are following all leads,” said Kyle.
Kosciusko Police Chief Chris Wray said he had no additional information to add to the mayor's comments at this time.
Attala County School District Superintendent Kyle Hammond said a text message of the threat was reported to administrators at Ethel High School. He said the picture made it clear that the photo-message was not taken at a county school.
“Everybody got on high alert. The police department and sheriff’s department began investigating and looking into it,” said Hammond. “We looked at book bags when kids came into the Career Center. We searched high and low in the building and swept the building with the sheriff’s department, and Kosciusko did the same thing in the city.”
Hammond said the threat may have originated in Grenada, where the message is also being spread. A state investigator was notified of the threat, and he was reportedly already reviewing the very same threat made by a Grenada resident.
“What we're kind of thinking is it was a screenshot that originated in Grenada and was meant for the Grenada School District that found its way over to Attala and spread around Attala, but they’re still investigating who the originator of that text was,” said Hammond. “As far as we can tell, there is no threat in Attala County or even the city limits.”
Sheriff Tim Nail said several other school districts received the threat, and agencies continue working together to determine the threat’s originator.
“Right now, we can't determine which school district it was intended to go to, but we do know it spread through central Mississippi and several other school districts have received this,” said Nail. “We checked all our schools, and ours are OK. There's an investigation going on by multiple agencies right now trying to determine where this originated from."
Stay with The Star-Herald for updates on this developing story.