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Sarasota Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018 1 year ago

Officials investigate Riverview shooting threat

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Riverview High School Principal Kathy Wilks sent a message to school parents Sunday about an anonymous tip regarding a possible shooting.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has received an anonymous tip about a possible shooting threat involving a Riverview High School student, according to a message sent from Riverview Principal Kathy Wilks to school parents.

The anonymous caller made the report Saturday evening, according to a Sheriff’s Office statement. The statement said the tip was related to an unidentified Riverview student.

"There is no specific threat that has been articulated, only a concern involving the unnamed student's past behavior and inappropriate comments," the Sheriff’s statement said.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office said there will be an increased police presence on the campus this week. 

The message Wilks sent Sunday described the tip as “vague,” adding that it did not include specifics about the timing associated with any threat. The caller said the student who made the threat could be a male with tattoos on his arms, Wilks’ message said. Schools and school-district offices are closed Monday for the Presidents Day federal holiday.

Read: Schools respond to an increasing number of threats via social media

The tip comes in the wake of a mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which the shooter killed 17 people. Both Wilks and the Sheriff’s Office said officials are treating the possible threat seriously.

“While law enforcement continues their investigation into this matter, Riverview High School administration, along with the school’s safety and security office, will continue to work with law enforcement to take necessary precautions at the school to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” Wilks’ message stated. “We want to assure you that any threat — in person or on social media — is taken very seriously.”

Wilks asked anyone with information about the student or threat to contact the Sarasota County Schools Office of Safety and Security anonymous tipline at 941-927-4057 or the Sheriff's Office's anonymous BE BRAVE hotline at 877-723-2728.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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