Williamsburg student arrested on threat charges

WILLIAMSBURG — A 17-year-old male student was arrested by state police Friday for a credible threat of bringing a gun to school, and the school district chose to cancel classes for the day due to the investigation.

About 9:30 p.m. Thursday, state police at Hollidaysburg were contacted by the Williamsburg Community School District about a statement made by a student who threatened to bring a gun to school.

The threat referenced targeting a specific student, according to a police report. Through an investigation, the threat was deemed credible. The juvenile was taken into custody at

6:30 a.m. Friday at his residence.

The suspect will be transported to a juvenile detention facility, which was coordinated by the Blair County Juvenile Probation Department.

Charges were filed through the Blair County Probation Department.

Some residents believed it was a hoax; others were worried. Details on a threat that caused school officials to cancel school remained scarce late Friday morning. A police car was parked outside of the high school, but no one answered the door.

At Martin’s General Store, a typical hangout for high school students, McKayla Weyandt, a 2015 Williamsburg graduate, said she never had those kind of scares when she was in school.

“It’s intense and scary. We are a small town, so you really never hear stuff like that,” she said.

A mother with her 6-year-old daughter at the Dollar General said she believed the threat was a hoax.

“I think it was a joke, and they took it out of proportion,” she said. She refused to give her name.

Seth Walter’s children are in preschool, and next year they will be in the elementary school building, which is attached to the junior-senior high school.

“I saw it on social media this morning. I don’t know what the threat was,” he said.

A statement posted by Superintendent Lisa Murgas on the district’s website stated school was canceled because it was uncertain whether the credibility of the threat could be verified before students’ arrival time.

“The district was notified late last night of a potential threat to our high school today. The district immediately notified the Pennsylvania State Police who then started their investigation. The decision was made to close school today because it was uncertain if the credibility of the threat could be verified before students arrived at school today. The safety of our students and staff at the Williamsburg Community School District is always our top priority. This is an ongoing investigation and the district will fully cooperate with law enforcement. Thank you for your ongoing support to ensure the safety of our students and staff.”

With school canceled, 9-year-old Evan Zehner went out for lunch at Original Italian Pizza with his grandmother.

“School was canceled because people were putting threats out,” he said, walking with his grandmother, who said his parents got a phone call from the school in the morning.

“It makes me feel sad,” Evan said.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435. Altoona Mirror reporter Greg Bock contributed to this report.

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