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Yankton Schools Locked Down After Twitter Threat

May 7, 2014, 10:31 PM by Jared Ransom

Yankton Schools Locked Down After Twitter Threat
YANKTON, SD -

A 23-year-old Yankton man is in jail tonight after allegedly making threats to "shoot up" a local school.  Travis Potts now faces two counts of making terroristic threats.

The Yankton County Sheriff's Office took a call this morning tipping them off about a Yankton man, 23-year-old Travis Potts, making violent threats on Twitter.

"The first one was that he basically said I feel like shooting up a school. Further looking at the Twitter account, there was a threat of doing violence against a child," Yankton Police Chief Brian Paulsen said.

Yankton Police Chief Brian Paulsen quickly called Yankton School Superintendent Wayne Kindle to make sure he could take the appropriate action.

"The doors were locked. We did not make any announcements to the kids. There were four police units dispatched to our four elementary schools immediately," Yankton School District Superintendent Wayne Kindle said.

The information given to him was that the elementary schools would be the main focus of protection. Kindle has grandchildren in the schools, making the situation even more personal.

"My first response was like anybody else, and because I knew, you wanted to go to the school. That's what most people would want to do," Kindle said.

Michelle Gurney also has a child in the elementary schools. She received an email from the district about the threats once everything was under control.

"I got the email and I looked at it. I hand the phone to my husband and I'm like ' Really?' I let him read it because seriously, what's up with people today?" Gurney said.

Less than 30 minutes after the tip call, Potts was arrested and charged with two counts of making terroristic threats.

The posts were made on Potts' Twitter account three weeks ago, but to Kindle, a threat is still a threat.

"As school superintendent and our local police, we still take this very seriously, and we did. We never want to dismiss something whether it's a day old or three weeks old," Kindle said.

The schools were taken off lockdown around 12:30 p.m. after police determined that there was no immediate threat to the schools or the students.

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