Disturbing information’ to be released concerning reported threat of ETX school shooting

Earlier this week the Pine Tree Independent School District was informed there was a security situation involving Pine Tree High School and a student.

Christopher Jones, 17, a student at PTHS was arrested Monday morning for allegedly making a terroristic threat.

Police said Jones threatened to initiate a shooting at PTHS. Authorities received information from a tipster in California who stated Jones reportedly made the comments in an online chat room.

The threats “included Jones having a plan to enter a cafeteria at a school where he would lock all of the doors allowing ‘no escape,’ and referred to that future moment as the ‘greatest shooting ever.'”

According to Mary Whitton, Director of Communications and Public Information for the district, the school went to work immediately with law enforcement authorities to secure the schools and ensure the safety of all students and staff.

“We believe in the next 48 hours more information will be forthcoming by law enforcement agencies which may be quite disturbing,” said Whitton. “The district will continue to work with law enforcement and assist as requested. Law enforcement officials will be available at Pine Tree High School for students who wish to speak with them regarding this incident.”

Whitton tells KETK parents of students will be notified prior to the law enforcement officials speaking with their child. This is strictly a volunteer opportunity for our students.

All information that can be made public and not interfere or jeopardize the investigation will be provided to parents of students within the district.

“The district will continue to monitor all safety and security procedures to protect the students, staff and community,” said Whitton. “The district appreciates the law enforcement authorities for the priority given to this situation.”

The district asks parents to take the opportunity to speak to their child about the importance of school safety.

“While peer pressure is great at this age, we want to encourage students to feel comfortable reporting any information they may have that compromises their safety and the safety of others to a parent or adult,” explained Whitton. “Working together we can maintain an environment where students are free to focus on learning.”

The suspect’s parents, Chris Jones and Michelle Jones, are attorney’s for the Jones and Jones law firm in Longview. The teen’s father is on the Education Foundation board for Pine Tree schools. Mr. Jones also served as facility advisory committee chairman for the district’s 2010 bond proposition and election.

In November 2013, KETK was exclusively given an audio recording of board president Charley Peck, former head football coach Derek Fitzhenry and “Move Pine Tree Forward” political action committee members Ron Hutchison and Jones, holding a private meeting for football coaches thanking them for their support of Fitzhenry prior to his resignation and the meeting ultimately ended up bashing superintendent Dr. T.J. Farler, including Hutchinson calling her “stupid.”

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the district at (903) 295-5000.

The suspect was released on $10,000 bond Monday night.

 

Original Story: http://www.ketknbc.com/news/crimewatch/disturbing-information-to-be-released-concerning-r