UPDATE: Two arrests made in Germany and East Moline after UTHS lockdowns
East Moline Police investigators traced calls causing lockdowns at UTHS back to the same number and account user in Hagen, Germany.
Today, Hagen Police interviewed a 17-year-old male who confessed to making both phone call threats on 8/17/18 and 8/23/18. Hagen Police reported to East Moline Police that they would pursue criminal charges against the suspect in Germany. The offender indicated they knew a person at United Township High School through an online gaming platform.
East Moline Police investigators located the 15-year-old female who asked the German offender to make the threat. The juvenile was arrested and is in custody pending juvenile court proceedings.
Although this case is still under investigation there is no evidence that there were any actual plans that a shooting was or is going to occur. There is no ongoing threat to the student body.
Police say they received a call just after 8:40 a.m. on Thursday. Police say it was from a male who conveyed a threat to the student body at UTHS. Police responded to the high school and contacted the school to have administration place the school on lockdown. Classes have resumed as normal.
East Moline Police has continued to investigate the origin of the threat. Investigators traced the incoming call from Aug. 17, 2018 and tied the accoutn to a known subject in Hagen, Germany. The case has been turned over to the FBI for further international investigation.
A second call was received on Thursday, Aug. 23 at approximately 8:12 a.m. from the same caller.
Police are currently working to confirm the source of the call from Thursday. At this time they do not believe it is a valid threat but they are taking precautions to ensure the safety of the students.
The East Moline Police Department will provide extra officers at the school and United Township High School will be on normal school operations.
United Township High School is coming off of a soft lockdown after the police department received an external threat.
UT posted to its website saying in part "Due to the investigation from Friday, law enforcement believes the call has come in from outside the country."
Full statement: "We are coming off soft lockdown at this time. This morning the EMPD received a phone call similar to Friday's call. Due to the investigation from Friday, law enforcement believes the call has come in from otuside the country. As a precaution we will have additional police present(sic) the remainder of the day. We encourage everyone to remain at school for the remainder of the day as we believe we are safe. We will continue on our normal schedule at this time. Staff please be present in the halls during passing. Students please understand as a precaution that we will have limited movement today which means less hall passes."
The East Moline Police Department has asked UTHS to go on lockdown due to an external threat claim called into the police department on 8/23/18. According to the police department Facebook page, this is a similar incident to last Friday. At this time, police do not believe this threat is substantiated, but are taking precautions to make sure the students are safe.
Police are asking parents to go to UTEC / Fairgrounds.
United Township High School is on a soft lockdown according to school officials. Officials tell TV-6 they cannot comment on what prompted the soft lockdown, but could confirm they were informed through an intercom system that they were placed on a soft lockdown.
TV-6 has reached out to police and they cannot give us any information at this time.
TV-6 has a crew headed to the scene and we will be updating this story as more information becomes available.