MEDINA, N.Y. (WIVB) – A student from Medina High School is under arrest and charged with threatening to harm other students at his school.
Police took MacKenzie Barrett, 18, into custody Sunday night in the town of Shelby. He is charged with making a terrorist threat, a class D felony.
Investigators say Barrett made a threat on Friday to harm students at the high school Monday. Another student in Lockport allegedly received a disturbing text message from Barrett. The student then posted a message with her concerns on Facebook, which was seen by her friend in Medina, who in turn reported the alleged threat to her parents and police.
“The student that saw the posting and called the Medina Police Department, and I commend that student,” said Jose Avila, Village of Medina Police Chief. “The student brought this forward and allowed us to initiate an investigation and bring this gentlemen to justice.”
“Without them we certainly may not know what’s going on and there could be a tragedy and we prevented one because of a student.”
Barrett was arrested after talking police spoke with him at his home. Barrett’s parents are said to be cooperating. It is not known if the student made a statement to police.
Medina School Superintendent Jeffrey Evoy says Barrett, a junior, is suspended for five days. After an investigation, he will have a hearing before the superintendent. Evoy says there is no incidents of bullying reported in Barrett’s school record.
The superintendent says school safety is the district’s number one priority, and there were extra patrols at the school Monday. Despite the arrest and additional patrols, about a third of the students didn’t show up for school.
Barrett is being held in the Orleans County Jail on $25,000. He will undergo a psychiatric evaluation and is due back in court on Thursday for a felony hearing.
On the district’s website, Evoy posted the following statement:
“Late Friday evening, I was advised of an alleged threat made by a current Medina High School student regarding the individual’s plans to harm other Medina High School students at school on Monday. Upon learning of the alleged threat, District officials immediately contacted the Medina Police Department. It is my understanding that a criminal investigation remains on-going. The District has suspended the student from school and is moving forward with a discipline proceeding regarding the alleged conduct. To protect the integrity of the investigation and proceeding, the District cannot provide further comment at this time.
“The Medina Central School District will continue to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and security of all students and staff. Please know that the safety of students and staff is our number one priority. Any threats will be dealt with in a serious manner. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 798-2700.”