NEWSBRIEF: Threats of gun violence unfounded in Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul

Within two days, both the Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul police departments investigated threats to public safety that turned out to be unfounded.

According to a Nov. 21 press release, South St. Paul police received a tip around 4:30 a.m. that day regarding a potential threat of violence against a district elementary school. The person who provided the information is known to the department and warned a shooting was planned by unknown people that day.

District officials were informed and canceled school as a precaution.

By 9 a.m., the person who provided the information to police was located and found to be having a mental health crisis, according to the release. The individual was interviewed, and while they believed the threat to be credible, there was no information or evidence to support the claim. The person was transported to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Inver Grove Heights Police Chief Paul Schnell said Nov. 21 in a Facebook post that the day prior, the police department received information about a social media post in which the poster expressed a plan to shoot African American people with his father’s AR-15 rifle. Investigators were called in to track back the information as “a means of ensuring the safety of people in our community.”

Schnell’s post said that within hours of receiving the information and securing multiple search warrants, investigators determined the source of the post and that there was no danger to the public. 

Investigators determined another young person created and sent the post, impersonating the person whose name they were posting under. The third party is likely to be charged with a crime.


—Hannah Burlingame

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