12-year-old boy in custody in Byng school threat investigation

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BYNG, OK - Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian said his department took a 12-year-old boy into custody Wednesday afternoon and he's facing a felony charge of threatening acts of violence.

"Brought the young man in with his parents and interviewed him," said Christian. "He admitted that he had actually written the Instagrams and sent them out."

Tuesday night law enforcement and school officials were told about
the internet messages threatening a shooting at Byng Public Schools and referencing Sandy Hook. Superintendent Todd Crabtree said they notified parents Wednesday morning.

"A parent notification system that we have, we sent out a robo call," Crabtree said. "And we didn't do that until later in the morning until we had some better information."

Parents said they were worried for their children's safety.

"When they told me the message they said that they had sheriff deputies already there so that kind of made me feel all right but still, everything going on with Sandy Hook and everything you never know," said Justin Wort, who has a child in Byng Public Schools.

Sheriff's deputies patrolled Byng schools all day and teamed up with the Chickasaw Nation Lighthorse Police and Ada Police to patrol Latta and Vanoss schools as an added precaution. The sheriff said the incident is a reminder that no one is truly anonymous online, and they take threats seriously.

"It is a felony," said Christian. "And we'll swiftly act. Like I say, this shows that it can be quickly resolved."

He added that the department will continue to be on high alert at area schools.