Midlothian Police detain Suspect who sent Threatening Text Messages

Attempted Kidnapping Midlothian

Last night on social media channels, parents were discussing a threat made towards Walnut Grove Middle School. Even though the Midlothian Police Department and school district had notified parents they were aware of and investigating the threat and had deemed it not credible, parents expressed their reservations about sending their kids to school today.

The challenge: what if we send our kids to school and something does happen? And, as many expressed, maybe heightened security on Monday discourages violence, what does that mean for the other days of the week? Others expressed concerns that by keeping kids home, they were creating or fueling their child’s fears.

On Sunday, February 25, 2024, patrol officers from the Midlothian Police Department were dispatched to a call involving threats made to a local juvenile via text message. The reporting party stated their child received text messages from an unknown number that they found to be alarming. One of the texts indicated that the sender planned to “shoot up the school.” These texts were part of a group chat received by several Walnut Grove Middle School students. Initially, officers were unable to determine the source of the texts as the number was traced back to a burner application that provides “spoof” phone numbers. Officers continued to investigate through the evening and were eventually able to find a potential source of the messages.

Additional officers were sent to the Walnut Grove campus as a precaution this morning while Patrol officers and investigators collaborated with officers from our School Resource Unit and continued the investigation. As a result of their efforts, earlier today, officers positively identified the source of the threatening messages. The suspect is a 12-year-old student at Walnut Grove Middle School. The juvenile is being charged with violating Texas Penal Code Section 22.07(a)5 – TERRORISTIC THREAT, 3rd Degree Felony. The suspect was detained and will be held at the Eilis County Juvenile Detention Center in Waxahachie. The suspect’s name will not be released at this time by this agency because he is a juvenile.
The investigation is ongoing; however, we have no reason to believe these threats were valid. There is no indication the threat made to the school was credible.