A 16-year-old from Tennessee was responsible for communicating a threat that resulted in a shutdown of in-person classes at Greely High School last week, according to the Cumberland Police Department.

Police say the teenager, who was not identified for age reasons, has no known connection to Maine and chose the MSAD-51 school at random. The teenager then created an Instagram account, greelyhigh_drama, to post a message that read, “I just blocked everyone I don’t wanna kill / If you can read this … its gonna happen.”

The school was closed for in-person instruction and police kept watch on the building. The investigation revealed that the threat was a meme that has been available on the internet since at least November 2019, said Cumberland Police Chief Charles Rumsey.

Police said the teen who created the Instagram account asked Greely students to follow the account. Once local teenagers saw the threat, they reported it immediately.

“Apparently the juvenile originally saw the prank that was posted on TikTok, and took the prank from TikTok and posted it on Instagram,” Rumsey said.

Rumsey said the department wrote a search warrant targeting Instagram, which provided information that identified a cell phone service provider connected to the account. A separate subpoena issued to the cell phone provider revealed the customer’s identity and led police to the teenager, he said.

There is no provision in Maine law to extradite a juvenile, Rumsey said, so local police forwarded their investigative findings to Tennessee police, who will pursue a criminal charge under a statute similar to the Maine law that makes it a felony to communicate a threat that causes an evacuation or lockdown.

“I am extremely pleased that our talented team was successful in rapidly determining there was no immediate threat to students and in identifying the person responsible for this crime so appropriate action can be taken,” Rumsey said in a statement.

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