EAST PEORIA —
A teenage male was in police custody after he threatened students at Riverview Grade School, authorities said Monday.
The threat prompted a lockdown of the school located along Illinois Route 26 south of Bayview Gardens.
Police would not identify the 17-year-old accused of making threats through Facebook, a social media website. He was being held at the Woodford County Jail in Eureka, according to Darren Evans, the Woodford County Sheriff’s Department’s chief deputy.
As of Monday evening, Woodford County State’s Attorney Greg Minger said he had received little information about the case. The Sheriff’s Department is investigating, Evans said.
The accused is not a student at Riverview, which houses kindergarten through eighth grades. Evans said the teenager listed a Chillicothe address.
The threats were reported about 9:30 a.m., Evans said. Not long thereafter, the Sheriff’s Department prohibited about 220 Riverview students and staff members from leaving classrooms.
Exterior and interior school building doors were locked, according to Michelle Lee, the Riverview superintendent and principal.
“Ten years ago, it wouldn’t have been like that, but things are different today,” Evans said.
The lockdown lasted about 30 minutes, Lee said. According to her, the Sheriff’s Department sent four deputies to the school.
“They talked to myself, they looked at some technology and they questioned some students,” said Lee, who is in her first year at Riverview. “They stuck around until they knew the person of interest was in custody.”
Chillicothe police arrested the suspect about 11:30 a.m. Monday, Evans said. Woodford County officers then drove to Chillicothe to transport him to jail.
Lee said the lockdown was unnerving, but it was handled without a hitch.
“We always have to keep safety first,” she said. “Everybody did a great job.”