BALLSTON SPA – Additional patrols were added to Ballston Spa Central School District facilities on Monday after an online threat was first reported Sunday night. Sheriff’s officials have since deemed the threat not credible.
“Additional patrols will remain in place at all district buildings today as an added precaution,” Interim Superintendent Gianleo Duca wrote in a message Monday morning. “Please join me in thanking them for the work they do to keep our community safe.”
The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 8:15 p.m. on Sunday, from a district resident reporting that their juvenile son received a Snapchat message which contained a threat of a school shooting earlier that evening.
The incident had no impact on attendance Monday morning according to Ballston Spa CSD Community Relations Coordinator Stuart Williams said.
“It was a Sunday evening event,” Stuart said. “So the Sheriff was investigating it outside the district. It didn’t really have any impact on the district.”
Investigators have identified the person who sent the message and soon determined that the individual did not have the means to carry out the threat and that the threat was not credible, sheriff’s officials said.
Information about the suspect will be able to be released after an arrest is made, Captain Jeff Brown said Monday morning. As of 11 a.m. Monday, the suspect had not been arrested nor charged, he said.
“I have no indication that it was anybody connected to the district,” Williams said.
The individual who reported the threat to authorities was a teenager, who is believed to be the only person the threat was sent to, Brown said. He explained he could not say the reason they could not charge the individual at this time.
“As soon as we’re able to [charge the individual], we will,” Brown said. “I can’t exactly say the reason we can’t charge him right now.”
The individual who sent the threatening message will be held accountable, Brown said. The Sheriff’s Office announced an additional update will be provided once that information can be released publicly.
The additional patrol presence in the district Monday was to help people feel at ease, Brown said.
“Because this threat did get passed around on social media, a lot of people learned about it, some people may feel uneasy going to school,” Brown said. “Having some extra patrols around could generally help with that.”
This type of activity is taken very seriously, and is addressed right away regardless of the hour or day of the week, Brown said.
“This isn’t something that we sit on, or that waits until Monday morning,” Brown said. “It’s stuff that gets addressed by us as soon as it becomes known to us. We are pretty successful in tracking down those responsible, and figuring out what happened and taking action.”
Ballston Spa Mayor Frank Rossi said he has been in communication with law enforcement who had told him what the situation was “in terms of the arrest scenario.”
“I will defer to law enforcement to give specific details,” Rossi said. “But the only thing I will say is, for as happy as I was that this was solved overnight, my heart also ached overnight because of the details and the idea that, it’s tough for us to appreciate, unfortunately, what some people are going through or thinking in this process of making such horrible threats.”
The threat Sunday was not the first the district had seen, Rossi said.
A note about a school shooting was found written on a bathroom wall in 2018 at Ballston Spa High School. In that incident, a 17-year-old student confessed and was arrested.
“We are so blessed in this area to have so many layers of law enforcement that are able to get down to the bottom of these situations as quickly as they did here,” Rossi said.
Rossi thanked the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office and the school district for staying in communication overnight. He explained, this allowed information to get to families, so they were able to make informed decisions about sending their children to school Monday morning.