14-year-old charged with felony that put Roanoke high school on lockdown, police say

Police said that the threat was made on Wednesday morning, and there were no weapons found on WFHS property

ROANOKE, Va. – A juvenile has been charged for the threat made against William Fleming High School Wednesday, which caused the school to go on lockdown and have an early release, Roanoke Police say.

On Wednesday morning, school officials said that school administrators found out about a potential threat on social media, worked with the Roanoke PD, and placed the school on lockdown around 10:30 a.m. while they searched the building.

Once the school was deemed to be all clear, school leaders said students were dismissed early around 12:30 p.m. RCPS said the early dismissal was because they recognized the event was stressful for students, staff, and families.

Authorities said they sought a petition for a class six felony, Threat by Writing or Electronic Message to Kill or do Harm, on a 14-year-old girl for the threat.

The petition was served, and the 14-year-old will be taken to the Roanoke Valley Juvenile Center, according to police.

Roanoke PD gave the following statement as a reminder to Roanoke City Public Schools students:

“Things you say or text can hurt and scare others, and there can be serious repercussions. These are not funny jokes. If your words are alarming enough to rise to the attention of law enforcement, you could face misdemeanor and/or felony charges. These are consequences that will follow you for the rest of your life. Please remember to take a step back and think before you say something or send a message you might regret.”

Roanoke Police Department

Police also asked parents to talk with their children to understand the impact of things they might say and to work together to keep everyone safe.

The William Fleming High School lockdown was the first lockdown that happened in Roanoke on Wednesday, followed by Patrick Henry High School which also went on lockdown due to a potential threat.

About the Author:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.