UPPER DARBY (WTXF) - A teenage boy has been arrested and charged with making a threat against Upper Darby High School, originally forcing the school to cancel classes on Friday. The school will now be open Friday.
There was relief at Upper Darby High School Thursday after police tracked down an Instagram threat to shoot up the high school and arrested a 14-year-old freshman.
"Thank God nothing came out of this at this point in time and we have somebody who's been apprehended by the work of local law enforcement," Dr. Daniel McGarry, incoming superintendent at the school, said.
"There is zero tolerance between the Upper Darby School District and the Upper Darby Police Department—zero tolerance," Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood told reporters at a morning press conference.
Police say it started back on June 29 when someone emailed police with an Instagram post containing a threat to shoot up the school on September 7. Detectives say they were unable to get Instagram's cooperation to track it down. The same post resurfaced Wednesday and a 15-year-old student spotted it.
"The student did the right thing. He did what you're suppose to do. There's a threat—he sees the threat—he calls his mother. The mother calls police," Superintendent Chitwood explained.
Police pressed Instagram again to help locate where the threat came from. Around 8 p.m. Wednesday night, police served a search warrant at a home on the 7100 block of Radbourne Street and arrested the 14-year-old.
"We found no weapons in the house," Superintendent Chitwood added.
"The family's a Christian family—they're great people. I've never seen anything bad come from them," neighbor Michelle Smith told FOX 29. .
"They've been living here two and half years. They're the nicest family on the block. I'm extremely surprised," neighbor Lauren Java said
The boy was charged with making terroristic threats and harassment. School officials quickly defended their decision not to close school Thursday, but to close school Friday in the wake of the threat disclosure Wednesday morning.
"We found out later on that evening that an arrest had been made which alleviated our concerns when we found out who made the post," Superintendent of Schools Daniel Nerelli said.
Investigators say the teenager's parents were taken aback by the arrest but cooperative.
The high school will open on Friday with additional security now that an arrest was made. School officials refused to disclose any information on the teen. He will face disciplinary action in addition to criminal charges.