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Police probe video ‘threats’

Online attack against Nisky’ students spur investigation

— The Niskayuna Police Department isn’t brushing off threatening videos posted online targeting three area students, as rumors of a school shooting are dispelled.

High School Principal John Rickert said the two videos were brought to the school’s attention by the two students targeted in the videos posted to YouTube. School officials were alerted to the first video on Thursday, Oct. 27, and the second video the following day.

Police were contacted immediately and are still investigating in hopes of determining who posted the videos. Niskayuna Police Chief John Lubrant said the two Niskayuna students and a Schenectady High School student received emails that directed them to the videos.

Lubrant said the investigation is a priority for police and once found, the sender could face misdemeanor charges of aggravated harassment.

“[The videos] could definitely be construed to be threatening in nature,” Lubrant said. “It is an ongoing investigation and it is an absolute priority with us.”

The videos are now removed from YouTube, but Lubrant said he doesn’t know if website administrators or the poster removed the video.

“In essence, the video consists of violent or threatening rap music in the background and they also incorporate photographic images of the victims,” he said.

On Monday, Oct. 31, police had a presence at the high school in response to rumors of a school shooting, but investigators also interviewed the victims and other people of interest, according to Lubrant.

Ultimately, police determined there wasn’t a possibility of a school shooting in the near future.

“The shooting rumors have been investigated and people have been interviewed and looked at and it has been found that there is no credible threat that has been identified or existed over the last couple of days,” Lubrant said on Tuesday, Nov. 1. “If something new surfaces with respect to videos sent or shooting we are prepared to respond to that immediately.”

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