Home Roanoke man arrested for threats involving AK in Snapchat group, forced closure of schools
Public Safety, Schools, Virginia

Roanoke man arrested for threats involving AK in Snapchat group, forced closure of schools

Crystal Graham
snapshat on phone
(© nikkimeel – stock.adobe.com)

A Roanoke man was arrested today related to comments he allegedly posted in a Snapchat group that led to the closure of Roanoke Public Schools this week.

Stephen Karl Johnson, 35, was federally charged with one count of communicating in interstate commerce – a threat to injure another person.

Johnson posted online threats in a Snapchat group used by students at Patrick Henry High School.

According to court documents, on Wednesday night, several threatening messages were posted one that read: “Im done bro fr on some real sh** I’m pulling up to school with a ak and any kid I see that’s in my sight I shooting fr.”

In reaction to the messages, Roanoke City Public Schools closed all facilities today.

Because the Snapchat group requires users to register with a Gmail address, investigators were able to trace the source of the messages to Johnson.

“This defendant caused fear and emotional distress to the parents and students of the Roanoke City Public School system and for those actions he has been justly charged,” said United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh.

“If anyone communicates a threat to our schools, our public servants, or our public institutions in the Western District of Virginia, we will seek to hold them accountable under federal law.”

The FBI and the City of Roanoke Police Department are investigating the case.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.