DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWQC) – UPDATE: Police say there were a series of events this week that have led to confusion. Here is a police news release issued Friday, Feb. 23, 2018:
"This week the Dubuque Police Department investigated several cases involving area youth. These cases have generated a high volume of social media traffic and there is a great deal of incorrect information circulating through the community. We would like to explain some of these investigations to hopefully ease some of the concerns.
First and foremost, we would like to thank the citizens of Dubuque for reporting their concerns to the Police Department and school officials. We ask that if “you see something, say something” and in this case, you did.
Earlier this week the Dubuque Police Department and the Dubuque Community School District were made aware of threats of violence to Senior High School. The Police Department and school officials investigated these threats and charges were filed for Harassment. Steps were taken by the Police Department and school staff to make sure Senior High School was safe. The students involved have not returned to school and their families have been cooperating with school staff and Police.
Late last night, a threat was shared with Dubuque Community Schools staff. This led to significant social media traffic and eventually to led to the cancelation of Dubuque schools. Ultimately, it was determined that the threats made were related to the initial threats, despite the fact that they had already been investigated and safeguards were put in place. Officers are monitoring social media and are working with school staff to quickly investigate leads as they come in but thus far no new information has been uncovered and no specific or credible threat to Dubuque area schools exist.
We realize incidents like this are a concern beyond the schools, and neighboring businesses, colleges/universities, and even private residents may have concerns about their safety. The Dubuque Police Department takes these threats very seriously, but also does not wish to cause undue fear in the community by announcing all threats or rumored threats, especially those that have already been addressed. We ask that the community trust us on the release of information. If there is ever a situation of an immediate threat, we will do everything possible to protect the community.
The Dubuque Police Department investigated a separate incident on Wednesday, Feb. 21st involving a juvenile female who assaulted another juvenile female in the area of W. 5th and Delhi St. The suspect in that case was identified and located by officers on Wednesday night and was transported to juvenile detention on Thursday March 22nd after being charged with Willful Injury. A video of this assault has circulated through social media and has also resulted in some public confusion. This case was not related to the threats at Senior High School and it did not occur on school property or during school hours.
The Dubuque Police Department asks that if anyone has information on any threats to area schools, to contact the department and speak with an officer.
If you have any information on this incident or others, please call the Dubuque Police Department at 563-589-4415 or Crime Stoppers at 800-747-0117"
UPDATE: Early Friday morning it was announced classes are canceled for Friday at all Dubuque Community School District schools.
School is canceled Friday, February 23, at Dubuque Senior High School “due to rumors of a potential threat,” according to the Dubuque Community School District.
The district posted the cancellation late Thursday night on its website and Facebook page.
“Late this evening, there have been widespread reports on social media regarding an alleged threat of a possible shooting at Dubuque Senior High School on Friday. Within the last 90 minutes, the district and the Dubuque Police Department have been in close communication,” the district posted on its website.
“While we have no credible information suggesting an actual threat exists, we are unable to completely rule it out. Because of this, the district has made the decision to cancel classes at Dubuque Senior High School on Friday, Feb. 23, out of an abundance of caution.”
The district says if it is determined the threat is false, it will “pursue further action on the individuals responsible.”