Student arrested after River Bluff High bomb threat, school’s second threat in one day

Posted 3/9/23

Two threats against a local high school have been announced in as many days.

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Student arrested after River Bluff High bomb threat, school’s second threat in one day


A local high school received two threats in one day this week.

On March 8, the same day Lexington Police reported that it had arrested a 13-year-old at Lakeside Middle School for making social media threats against a student at River Bluff High School along with Gilbert High School, the department said it arrested a 14-year-old River Bluff student following a bomb threat he made against his school at about 8 p.m.

“Last night, the Lexington Police Department began investigating information about a bomb threat at River Bluff High School, which had been made through social media,” the department posted to social media March 9.

According to Lexington Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Cameron Mortenson, the student was found at his home at about 7 a.m. the next morning after "detectives worked on it literally all night and were able to identify [him]."

The student is charged with threatening to use a destructive device and school threats and has been released to the custody of his parents.

“Last night a bomb threat directed at our school was communicated using a social media messaging app,” Lexington County School District 1 writes in a provided email sent to students, employees and families the morning of March 9. 

“There is a low probability that this is a credible threat but we are working with law enforcement to thoroughly investigate the threat and to take the necessary precautions. Law enforcement and school and district administrators searched the building this morning. We are confident that it is safe to have school today and we can proceed with the ACT testing.”

Shortly after announcing the bomb threat arrest, Lexington Police followed up with a post detailing the complete search of River Bluff High, saying it was conducted “out of an abundance of caution.”

“This search included every classroom, closet, storage room, bathroom, and elsewhere on campus, where fortunately, nothing was found,” the department posted. “Parents, please talk with your children about online threats or joking about bombs or other weapons.  It's not funny, it's illegal, and recently it's caused unnecessary disruptions in our schools throughout the Town of Lexington.”

Mortenson addeded that River Bluff received an additional threat March 7.

"A threat that named several local schools, including River Bluff High School, came in through the Batesburg-Leesville High School tip line," he told the Chronicle. "RBHS was briefly put on Hold safety precaution meaning that no one could enter or leave campus and all students were in classrooms and not in the hallway.  This was lifted soon after when it was determined that the threat was not credible."

Libby Roof, chief communications officer for Lexington 1, said the district wished to reiterate a statement it sent to the Chronicle after the previous threats made against River Bluff and Gilbert High.

“In responding to reports of threats, school and district leaders work closely with law enforcement to implement the appropriate emergency safety response, to assess the credibility of the threat and to identify and locate the individual responsible,” the district said in the statement. “While it is a relief when a threat turns out to be a hoax, the disruption to teaching and learning and the emotional impact negatively impacts students, employees and families.

We all have important roles to play in keeping our schools safe and it is imperative for students to understand the severe consequences of communicating any threat against a school. As we saw today and in other recent incidents, students who make threats face serious criminal charges. A social media post or text message is not worth these life-altering consequences.”

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated.


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