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Suspect charged in shooting threat that led Kansas City school districts to cancel summer school

The Blue Springs Police department alerted the FBI to an unspecific threat of a mass shooting Tuesday night, prompting at least ten area school districts to cancel summer school classes Wednesday.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89. 3
The Blue Springs Police department alerted the FBI to an unspecific threat of a mass shooting Tuesday night, prompting at least 10 area school districts to cancel summer school classes Wednesday.

At least 10 school districts in the Kansas City area announced they were canceling all summer school activities Wednesday after the Blue Springs Police Department was alerted to the threat of an "unspecific mass shooting."

A 19-year-old Blue Springs, Missouri, man was charged Wednesday with making a terroristic threat after a mass shooting threat led nearly a dozen Kansas City-area schools to cancel classes Wednesday.

The suspect, Treshawn M. Hardridge, faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

The statement of probable cause accompanying the criminal complaint said that an anonymous female reported the shooting threat to Blue Springs police on Tuesday. She said she had seen a Snapchat post stating, "Mental Health is important I’m gonna start killing people mass murdering don’t test your luck w me never know u might be the reason for the next big event."

The anonymous tipster was able to identify Hardridge as having allegedly made the threat, according to the probable cause statement.

Police contacted Hardridge's father, who told them Hardridge abuses Percocet and needed to go to rehab.

The FBI was able to track down Hardridge through a cell phone number. He was arrested when he emerged from his house and surrendered to police.

Hardridge later allegedly told police that he posted the threatening message from his bedroom at his parents' house. A search warrant served on the home uncovered a handgun, an assault style rifle and a .22 caliber rifle, as well as ammunition, according to the probable cause statement.

The Blue Springs School District announced Tuesday night it would cancel summer school sites and all school activities until further notice.

“The Blue Springs Police Department alerted the FBI of a possible threat related to an unspecific mass shooting,” the district said on Facebook. “The FBI has confirmed that the individual in question whose whereabouts are unknown is dangerous.”

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Blue Springs Police Det. Keegan Hughes said the department had had previous run-ins with the suspect, "but no real charges have ever been brought against this individual."

"Once we had him identified, we've had plenty of call history with him and associates that we were able to link to him," Hughes said.

"We did have a phone ping around 10:47 p.m. that placed him in the general area of his residence," Hughes said. "And an anonymous tip that he was at another residence in Blue Springs. So we focused our efforts there. And luckily, luckily it paid off."

The Blue Springs School District said it had been given the all-clear to resume summer school and all school activities on Thursday.

"The summer school schedule has been adjusted — our last day will be Thursday, June 30th," the district said in a statement. "The safety of our schools will always be our top priority. We appreciate the information that was shared and the quick response from law enforcement agencies."

The FBI told KCUR that the Blue Springs police would be leading the investigation of the threat, but it takes all threats of violence seriously and will “work with our local partners to provide resources as needed."

Several other school districts announced on Wednesday that they would be closing out of an abundance of caution. They included:

  • Lee’s Summit
  • Independence
  • Fort Osage
  • Grain Valley
  • Oak Grove
  • Odessa
  • Lone Jack
  • St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School in Lee’s Summit
  • Timothy Lutheran Ministries in Blue Springs

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said the case showed that "citizens can make a difference."
"Taking someone’s threat seriously is the best way to mitigate potential harm," she said. "My ask today is pretty simple — if you see a credible threat, please report it to law enforcement. School districts are working through stressful times knowing that their main priority is to keep kids safe and they did so today.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

Savannah Hawley contributed to this story.

More than ever, education lies at the intersection of equity, housing, funding, and other diverse issues facing Kansas City’s students, families and teachers. As KCUR’s education reporter, I’ll break down the policies driving these issues in schools and report what’s happening in our region's classrooms. You can reach me at jodifortino@kcur.org.
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