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St. Charles Police increase patrols after shooting threat found at St. Charles High School

Students on Monday reported a shooting threat that was written in one of the school's bathrooms.

St. Charles High School
St. Charles High School on Monday, Aug. 22, 2022.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
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ST. CHARLES — The St. Charles Police Department is investigating a shooting threat that was reported at St. Charles High School on Monday.

According to an email sent to St. Charles High School students and families on Monday afternoon, students found a shooting threat written inside a bathroom. Written on a metal surface, the threat reads "Jan 13, 2023 I'm shooting up the school."

"While it's very unfortunate that this threat was made, we take any threat of school violence very seriously," the Monday email from the school administration reads. "We are partnering with law enforcement and have already begun to investigate this threat."

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In a Monday statement, the St. Charles Police Department said it has no suspects at this point. Both the police department and the Winona County Sheriff's Office will be doing extra patrols around and inside St. Charles schools. The police department confirmed in a follow-up comment that those patrols will last through the week and security footage is under review.

In an email to students and parents on Wednesday, St. Charles Superintendent Jeff Apse said that students found another message written in Chapstick in the same bathroom on Tuesday, but after an investigation, the message was not considered to be another threat.

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"We are receiving tremendous support from the St. Charles Police Department," Apse wrote. "They are assisting with our investigation, and have maintained a consistent presence in our buildings and on our campuses since being made aware of the threat."

Apse urged parents and students to report any information or rumors to the school district or to the St. Charles Police Department.

St. Charles High School administrators and St. Charles Police Chief Jose Pelaez could not be reached for comment by deadline.

In response to the news on Monday, several parents indicated in the St. Charles, MN Community Hub Facebook page that they would pull their children out of class this week as a precaution.

"I just found out about it and I hate to say it my kids in elementary will probably not attend rest of the week," said one commenter. "High School should be closed."

"The schools should be shut down until they figure out who wrote it?" wrote another community member. "It’s a threat. it should be taken seriously."

Dené K. Dryden is the Post Bulletin's region reporter, covering the greater Rochester area. Before joining the Post Bulletin in 2022, she attended Kansas State University and served as an editor for the student newspaper, the Kansas State Collegian, and news director for Wildcat 91.9, K-State's student radio station. Readers can reach Dené at ddryden@postbulletin.com.
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