CHICAGO — There are heightened safety concerns for several Chicago Public Schools after a series of threats followed the fatal shootings of two Simeon High School students.
“This is a devastating loss for the entire Simeon community,” CPS Chief of Safety and Security Jadine Chou said. “Everyone from the educators, who taught and guided these young men, to their friends and to their classmates who will feel their absence every day as the year continues.”
Two Simeon High School students were shot and killed in separate incidents just hours apart. On Tuesday, 15-year-old Jamari Williams, who played football for the school, was shot and killed. Another 15-year-old, identified as Kentrell McNeal, died Wednesday morning following a double shooting Tuesday evening in a separate incident.
Deputy Chief Ernesto Cato said multiple social media threats have circulated throughout the city in the aftermath.
“The threats here struck a deep wound in this Simeon family,” Cato said.
Police said the nature of the threats revealed that shootings were imminent at several schools, including Simeon High School, John F. Kennedy High School, Kenwood Academy High School and Joslin Campus Charter School.
“We were able to identify the subject who was making multiple threats on social media that not only affected this school but affected other schools,” Cato said.
Chicago police say they took a man into custody who lives in a far south suburb. Chicago police Supt. David Brown said he has been cooperative with investigators. Chicago adds that the man in custody is currently on electronic monitoring for crimes of the exact nature.
“At this point, all of the threats received through social media have not been credible,” Brown said. “We take each and every threat very seriously.”
Brown added that the department provided additional assistance at the schools, which staggered dismissal times and had CTA buses staged to get students home.
“I know that our families across the district who have seen threats this week are concerned for children’s safety,” Chou said. “Threats like these are crimes and our goal is to do what we need to do to investigate them so schools can be safe.
“I want the whole community at Simeon to know CPS will do everything to support you as you move forward.”
Regarding the fatal shootings of two Simeon students, police said no one was in custody for either of those incidents.