Updated: Feb. 23, 1018, 11:14 a.m.
By Connie Leinbach
A 19-year-old Matamuskeet Early College High School student is free after posting bond on one felony charge of making a “false report of mass violence on educational property.”
Malik (pronounced mah-leek) Shaw of Engelhard was arrested Wednesday night and was released after posting bond on $15,000 bail, said Hyde County Clerk of Courts Brandy Pugh. Thursday
Pugh said a court date with the district court in the Hyde County Government Center in Swan Quarter is set for Feb. 28.
Dr. Randolph Latimore said on Thursday that Shaw will be restricted from campus until this matter is resolved.
“We took it seriously,” Latimore said. “We took it as a threat and acted immediately.” He was happy that the student who saw the threatening Snapchat notified school officials.
The charge against Shaw was brought after a joint investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation and the Hyde Sheriff following reports on Monday that a student had Snapchat post threatening the school, according to a Hyde County Sheriff Department Facebook post.
“This student took a screen shot of the post and reported it to school staff, who then reported it to us,” a Hyde County Sheriff’s Department Facebook post says. “Upon arriving at the school, we met with school staff and the student who reported the post. The post was a picture of a white male with his face half covered, holding a firearm. Across the screen was written ‘Mattamuskeet Wed. 1:30,’ along with another school that is not in our county.”
Latimore said Mattamuskeet parents were immediately notified and continued to be updated.
“We’re happy it turned out to be a false alarm, but anything that kids see that would cause them to be suspicious should be reported to school officials immediately,” Latimore said.
Deputies have been stationed at the school since Tuesday will continue to have deputies on school campus for the next couple days, he said. Officers from the sheriff’s office, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the Marine Fisheries Commission and the state highway patrol have helped to secure the campus, Latimore said, investigators from the State Bureau of Investigation also were at the school.
Attendance from pre-K to grade 13 was down both on Wednesday and Thursday, he said.
Every entry door on the entire campus is locked, and no one can get in without certain permissions, Sgt. Kevin Miller of the Hyde County Sheriff’s Department, said.
Similar measures are in force at Ocracoke.
Principal Leslie Cole said last week that Ocracoke School doors are always locked and that the school conducts “active shooter” drills twice a year.
Latimore also said all schools have security cameras inside and outside the buildings.
Shaw’s arrest brings to five the number of teens arrested for threatening “mass violence” in eastern N.C. schools this week.
The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported Tuesday that Camden County High School student Isaac Marc Chapman, 17, was jailed Monday, charged with misdemeanor communicating threats and disorderly conduct. Chapman allegedly threatened to shoot up his school following a class discussion about last week’s school shooting at the Parkland High School in Florida high school in which 17 students and staff were killed.
WITN reported Wednesday that Martin County sheriff’s deputies arrested an unidentified juvenile in the early morning hours of Feb. 21. The sheriff’s office said that they were made aware of a social media threat made against Martin County Schools at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
WNCT reported Thursday that an Araphoe Charter School student in Pamlico County was arrested by the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office Wednesday evening after the student allegedly threatened to commit an act of violence at the school.
The Perquimans Weekly of Hertford reported Thursday that a 15-year-old Perquimans County middle school student will likely face charges after allegedly threatening gun violence at the school Thursday morning.