High school put in lockdown after shooting threatened on social media, targeting LGBT+ students

Patrick Kelleher
·2-min read

A high school in Wellington, New Zealand, was put into lockdown after police said a teenager threatened to shoot students.

Wellington High School was plunged into lockdown on Thursday morning (26 November) after a “credible threat” was made on social media against the school.

The would-be shooter allegedly told students on social media that he was planning a school shooting, claiming that he was “so excited”.

A student and a parent later told Stuff.co.nz that the aggressor planned to specifically target LGBT+ students, however, police later insisted that there was “no information to suggest any particular group was a specific target”.

Wellington High School went into lockdown for an hour at around 8.30am after the threats were reported to authorities.

The threats came from a public Instagram account owned by a teenager. He had previously shared posts about a mosque shooting and posted a picture on Thursday of a rifle and bullets in a person’s hand.

A student at Wellington High School said the teenager claimed he owned a gun and bullets on the Instagram account, and described himself as a “Nazi”.

The Instagram account has since been removed.

New Zealand school goes into lockdown after teenager threatened to shoot students.

As the news broke, Labour MP Grant Robertson tweeted: “Sending my aroha to all at Wellington High and whanau. This is a tough time but I know Dominic and the team always have the wellbeing of students, esp LGBTQI, at heart. And we all need to stand strong against bigotry and hatred.”

However, he later added: “It seems the Stuff report this tweet is based on is in dispute. Regardless this has been a scary day for WHS and they all need our support.”

In a Facebook post, Wellington High principal Dominic Killalea wrote said the school had received a “credible threat” of violence, and told students that they would have to stay in class until the situation was resolved.

“All students, staff and persons on-site are safely accounted for. Everyone did extremely well and responded to instructions.

“I would like to personally thank you for your support and trust during this difficult time.”

A teenager was apprehended on Thursday and was charged with possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition, and was taken into police custody, local media reported.

He appeared before a judge in the city’s youth court on Thursday afternoon, and police said he would be referred to Youth Aid.