School district put on lockdown after Snapchat video of teen firing 'AK-style' rifle surfaces

A high school student in Butler County, Pa., is facing multiple charges, including making terroristic threats, after he allegedly posted an alarming video of himself firing a semiautomatic rifle to social media.

The South Butler County School District took to Facebook on Monday to announce that all schools were put on precautionary modified lockdown as a result of the “serious threat to student safety” perceived from a Snapchat video. Knoch High School student Jason Bowen was allegedly responsible for the video, which featured him firing an AK-style weapon. The caption read: “Training for prom walk.”

The Middlesex Township Police Department did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. According to Pittsburgh news station WTAE, authorities discovered that the weapon and ammunition belonged to a friend of Bowen. However, brass knuckles and drug paraphernalia that were seized at Bowen’s house did belong to the 18-year-old.

According to the district’s Facebook post, “No credible threat to the District or its students remains.” Bowen was arrested and has since been charged with making terroristic threats and causing a catastrophe, as well as weapon and drug paraphernalia charges. He is also reported to have given a thumbs-up to the Sandy Hook school shooting in an Instagram photo posted last February.

Jason Bowen, 18, was arrested and charged after Snapchat video of him with a semiautomatic rifle surfaced. (Photo: WTAE)
Jason Bowen, 18, was arrested and charged after Snapchat video of him with a semiautomatic rifle surfaced. (Photo: WTAE)

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that a Butler Country judge increased the teen’s bond from $25,000 cash to $100,000 cash as a result of concern for a school dance taking place this weekend.

Bowen’s attorney, David Shrager, said the 18-year-old never intended to follow through with any kind of threat.

“We are aware that this young man made a joke in very, very poor taste. It’s not funny. It’s not appropriate,” Shrager said. “We have to balance the need for safety with rationality and judge each case on its facts and not based out of fear and excitement.”

South Butler Superintendent David Foley told WTAE, “We’re so thankful for the students who came forward and told police or the parents.”

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Teen hailed as hero for reporting classmate with gun and possibly preventing a school shooting
12-year-old writes goodbye letters to family during school lockdown: ‘I thought I was going to die’
Good Samaritan drives mother of school shooting victim to see son before he dies

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