Terrorism threat thwarted at FD schools

15-year-old charged

A 15-year-old boy has been charged with threats of terrorism, a class D felony, after Fort Dodge officials were made aware of a conversation on social media about a school shooting, according to Capt. Ryan Gruenberg, of the Fort Dodge Police Department.

According to Gruenberg, a Fort Dodge school resource officer was contacted early Tuesday afternoon about the threats.

Gruenberg said the dialogue was immediately reported by other students who had knowledge of the situation.

“The decision by these students to say something made the difference in allowing both school and staff and the school resource officers to effectively intervene in the matter, potentially preventing harm to others,” Gruenberg said in a written statement. “On behalf of the Fort Dodge Police Department, the Fort Dodge Community School District, and all the citizens of Fort Dodge and Webster County, we would like to commend those students who came forward. These students displayed exemplary actions in communicating this information.”

The information given to the officer suggested students were communicating about a school shooting.

Officers and school staff were able to identify students within the Fort Dodge Community School District.

School resource officers and school staff contacted those students at both Fort Dodge Senior High and Fort Dodge Middle School.

A residence was searched to ensure the juvenile did not have access to items to carry out an act of terrorism. No items were located during that search.

The 15-year-old boy, whose identity is not being released, will be transported to the Central Iowa Juvenile Detention Center in Eldora to await further juvenile proceedings.

The Fort Dodge Police Department is continuing to investigate the case.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Fort Dodge Police Department at 573-1426. Crime Stoppers can also be contacted anonymously by calling 573-1444 (STOP), online at www.wccrimestoppers.com or by texting “LEC” and the tip to CRIMES (274637).