On September 17, 2018, the Espanola Police Service received information that Facebook Posts were circulating around the Espanola community concerning a potential threat to a local High School, and as a result, the schools in the Espanola area implemented a “hold and secure,” while the Espanola Police, assisted by the OPP, investigated the origin of the posts.
Throughout the course of the day, police tracked the original origin of the threat, which suggested that a “drive by shooting” at either the Espanola High School, or Manitoulin Secondary School may occur, to rumours that circulated following an incident at the Manitoulin High School on Friday September 14, 2018. The police interviewed an individual who admitted to telling friends rumours he’d overheard about the incident in Manitoulin, which appear to have suggested that further incidents were going to occur in Espanola or Manitoulin once the rumours hit social media. The police have determined that there was no specific threat to conduct a “drive by shooting” at either of the two schools, and this was a case of rumours being posted and circulated on social media.
The Espanola Police Service would like to thank the public, and our local School Boards for their cooperation and understanding throughout the day, while this matter was investigated.
The Espanola Police Service, and the OPP had an increased presence around the local schools during the day, and students were not at risk.