Police investigating online postings after Jefferson suicide
Police are investigating whether a Jefferson student, who shot himself Friday, has ties to some videos of simulated school shootings, posted online.
Police confirmed, Monday, the teen has since died.
According to Cedar Rapids authorities, the 15-year-old took a gun to school and shot himself outside the high school’s auditorium around 8 a.m. He had life-threatening injuries and died Saturday.
Over the weekend, many discovered a linked account on YouTube and a gaming site called Steam, believed to be the high schooler’s. Police are investigating the connection.
On the account, the profile’s user uploaded a two minute video on YouTube showing students walking through the crowded halls of Jefferson, before class. It’s totally innocuous by itself, but when you see what else the user uploaded, things get scary.
Multiple YouTube clips show video game simulations of actual school shootings and mass murders. The account’s profile picture, an image of the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho Seung-Hui.
On the connected Steam account, the user appears to have made his own custom-design shooting games. One of them at a school.
All of the online content alarmed some Jefferson parents and students, who said they were worried a mass shooting was being planned, perhaps involving multiple shooters who still wanted to carry it out.
"I'm very worried,” said Judy Fletcher, a Jefferson parent. “I'm worried to the point that I'm about to pull my son out of this school until we know that our children are safe."
Monday afternoon, police released a statement to ease the community's concerns.
“Based on the investigation, the Police Department has not received any information that indicates that anyone else was involved other than the 15-year-old male who took his own life,” the statement read. “Both the Cedar Rapids Police Department and Cedar Rapids Community School District are aware, have been monitoring, and are continuing to investigate several social media posts that have been shared since Friday’s incident.”
The statement went on to say that authorities believe “there has been no evidence of any specific, credible threat to students or staff at Jefferson High School.”
Police are asking anyone who may have additional information to contact authorities. You can reach them at this number: 319-286-5400.