Snapchat’s message of a thoughtless joke by a student led to an armed response to his Minnesota headquarters.
The incident occurred in Stearns County earlier last month, and the sheriff’s office said he received a report on March 21 from a local school counselor.
The school in question was not named, but the councilor said that a younger student had approached them on a Snapchat they had received from another student, who was not at school that day.
The “snap” contained a message that said: “Please help me, someone is in my house with a gun. I’m hiding under my bed.”
Other messages to the student have not been answered, urging the report to the police.
The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office said their response was “non-routine”, forcing them to request reinforcement from the Cold Spring police department, given the potential danger of the relationship.
But when the student answered, they “appeared to be very happy,” and was at home with their father and younger siblings.
“What started out as a joke had the potential to place the responding deputies, officers and public in danger,” the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office said. “By the time the officers left, the student understood what they did was wrong. It’s important to note that the student receiving the Snapchat absolutely did the right thing.”
“Information like this needs to be passed on in case it is true. The real problem was the attempted joke, which failed miserably. Thankfully, no one was hurt and it was only a very unfunny joke.”
The incident came after another report from the same week in Princeton, Minnesota, according to which the police said they were “crushed”, making a false report about the firearms to send a SWAT/army response to someone’s house.
Really, what these kids think when doing this, sending emergency messages is really not a funny joke, what if at the same time something serious happens that really needs help as soon as possible. Kids, next time use Snapchat wisely and think first about what you will do with this app. It is not funny at all.