Greeley police: Clown hoax started with Facebook message

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GREELEY, Colo. — A Facebook post threatening a shooting on Halloween night turned into an “almost viral event” that was then transformed into claims of school shootings by clowns, the Greeley Police Department said Tuesday.

The post prompted prompted extra security at schools and several calls to police.

Police said a 15-year-old forwarded a Facebook message that originally claimed shootings would be carried out near Island Grove Park on Oct. 31.

It then led to claims that clowns were going to attack Franklin Middle School and Northridge High School, police said.

On Monday night, police said the potential threats made against the schools in Greeley were not credible.

The Greeley-Evans School District wrote a message on Facebook to tell parents and guardians about the potential threats and that it was working with police.

“Parents, please talk to your teenagers about this problem,” Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke in a statement. “They must realize this isn’t a harmless joke. This ‘joke’ heightened fears in students, parents and school officials. We won’t tolerate people terrorizing our community, and we will charge them where we see fit.”

Police and school resource officers ramped up patrols at the schools on Tuesday “in due diligence, however, because one never knows who will act on this kind of bad information.”