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Student in custody after posting threats to shoot up campus

Director of Homeland Security Samana Semo Ve’ave’a

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —A high school student who made Facebook threats of possibly shooting up a high school campus is now in the custody of police.

This was confirmed by Director of Homeland Security Samana Semo Ve’ave’a.

The student in question posted a photo of his suspension slip and writing, “Kakou Kaalo la le oki.” (Let’s play with death) and a photo of a young man holding a rifle is also shown.

 “He was arrested last night by police but we are still looking for the gun, and we’re considering whether to criminally charge the student,” said Samana. 

Samana told Samoa News during a phone interview, the photo of the student with the shotgun posted was “an old” photo.

 “Also the student is under the age of 18, a minor. His family reached out to the police last night when they could not locate him after his post on social media, which had since been removed, and police were able to find him,” explained Samana.

The post prompted Tafuna High School to file an official complaint with the police.

On a post on their FB page, the school noted that safety is, and will always be their first priority.

 “Earlier Thursday evening administrators filed an official incident report with the Department of Public Safety.

 “Our Public safety and Homeland Security officials have been in contact with parties involved and are currently investigating the threat.

Director of Homeland Security Samana Semo Ve’ave’a“Do understand that as a school, we are taking every step to ensure the safety of our students, staff and faculty.”

THS Warrior page last night said that school would not be interrupted today.

 “We do understand that some parents have opted to keep their children home for precautionary measures.”

The school informed parents that they can make arrangements with counselors for excused absence-slips for any make up work next week.

 “As we strive to wrap up this semester, our staff and faculty will be present to serve students and parents that will be on campus tomorrow [Friday].

“We are comforted and confident that our DPS and Homeland Security’s presence tomorrow [Friday] will help ensure optimal security and safety of our campus.”

Director Samana told Samoa News this incident is in relation to fights that occurred earlier in the week between students.

He did not say which school, but police were seen responding to Samoana High School after school chasing them to go home, instead of hanging around at the market and public areas.

Samana is urging members of the public to report any suspicious activities regarding their children or students when they come across it on social media.

 “At the moment, the threat level is low, since the student has been taken into the custody of police.

“We are also waiting a report from the Department of Public Safety before we take any further actions,” said Samana.