NISKAYUNA An investigation into a threatening video targeting Niskayuna students has concluded, and police are blaming a Canadian minor for causing the online video stir.
The joint investigation between local and federal law enforcement agencies into threatening videos posted on YouTube targeting Niskayuna students lasted months. School officials were alerted to the first video on Thursday, Oct. 27, and the second video the following day by the two students targets in the videos. On Monday, Oct. 31, police had a presence at the high school in response to rumors of a school shooting, which police determined was unlikely.
The rumor of a third video related to a shooting threat also spread throughout the community, but school officials and police in early November had only confirmed the existence of the first two videos.
Through subpoenas and other resources, the local investigation went into Canada where the FBI, with assistance from the Ontario Provincial Police, identified a suspect. The suspect was revealed as a minor female in Ontario, Canada. Police said due to the nature of the crime, the age of the suspect and her location, no charges are being filed locally. The incident is being resolved in Canada, according to police.
Police said the investigation determined that there was no prior connection between the suspect and the youths mentioned in the videos, the Niskayuna High School or the larger community.
This incident began when the suspect, using an anonymous chat forum, observed postings of one of the youths and, based on similar interests, began to “follow” that youth within the chat forum, according to police. Based on the youth’s chats with other individuals, the suspect realized there was some type of “fight” taking place over the chat site. The suspect then allegedly produced and posted the videos on YouTube, according to police reports, with the intent to enhance the “fight” and keep it going.