15-year-old boy arrested in connection with Roanoke school threats

These threats were initially being investigated as a ‘copycat,’ until detectives found a connection between the teen and the other person arrested


Both charges against a Roanoke man, Stephen Johnson, accused of making school threats have been dismissed.

Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Donald Caldwell said he was not involved in the incident.

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A 15-year-old boy is now facing charges in connection with the “copycat” school threats made toward Roanoke schools, according to police.

35-year-old Stephen Johnson was arrested the day prior for the threatening messages while authorities continued to investigate “copycat” threats, as we previously reported.

“While our initial investigation indicated this may have been a “copycat,” detectives were able to determine there is a connection between the teenager and Stephen-Karl Johnson, who was arrested regarding these threats yesterday,” Roanoke Police wrote in a release. They did not elaborate further on that connection.

The teen is charged with two counts of threats toward schools regarding the incident, authorities said. He was transported to the Roanoke Valley Juvenile Detention Center on Friday afternoon.

[‘The threats need to stop’: Roanoke parent speaks out on recent school threats]

We’re told that he is enrolled in the Roanoke City Public Schools system.

As of Friday evening, Roanoke Police said they believe all individuals involved with the threats made toward schools have been identified.

The investigation into the situation is ongoing, police said.

Roanoke Police Chief Scott Booth and RCPS Superintendent Dr. Verletta White appeared in a video posted to the Roanoke City Public Schools YouTube page just minutes after the second arrest was announced Friday evening.

Dr. White warned that if there are more threats, extracurricular activities like sports, field trips and prom may be canceled. Plus, the district may have to add days to the school year to make up for lost time.

Watch the video by clicking here.

About the Authors

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

You can watch Lindsey during Virginia Today every weekend or as a reporter during the week!