By Steve Barnes
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - A 14-year-old Arkansas junior high school student suspected of posting a warning on social media that he would "shoot up" a school near his home was charged on Monday with first-degree terroristic threatening, police said.
The juvenile’s arrest came about the same time an undergraduate at a nearby university was arrested for posting a similar message.
Authorities said the two incidents, both of which occurred in Conway, about 30 miles northwest of Little Rock, were unrelated. They come as attention about violence at schools was raised by a mass fatal shooting at a community college in Oregon last week.
The younger suspect in Arkansas was not identified because he is a minor.
"He told us he did it on a dare," said LaTresha Woodruff, spokeswoman for the Conway Police Department.
"There is no indication he was going to do anything to follow through," she said, adding a search of the youth and his locker uncovered no weapons.
Samuel Davies, 18, a student at the University of Central Arkansas, was charged on Monday with communicating a threat and terroristic threatening, both felonies. A lawyer for Davies was not immediately available for comment.
Sergeant Brad Moory of the university police said Davies was investigated last week on suspicion of posting what Davies told officers was “a very bad joke” - a warning to students to stay away from class on Sept. 30.
Moory said a second post on Sunday night drew the closer attention of police.
The post warned readers that “you seem like good people and I care for you, so if you read this, please stay in your dorms or off campus next Wednesday, I care too much for you all to fall victim of the event."
(Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Peter Cooney)