Man gets over three years in prison for posting video threatening school shooting in New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man who posted a Snapchat video last year threatening to shoot up a New Hampshire high school was sentenced to a little over three years in prison on Tuesday.

Kyle Hendrickson, 26, had pleaded guilty to charges of interstate threatening communications and possessing a firearm in a school zone.

In a video posted in April 2023, Hendrickson was in a vehicle with a gun outside of Portsmouth High School, saying, “Imma gonna shoot up the school.” The incident, police said, was caught by Snapchat, which relayed it to the FBI who then contacted local police. The school district was closed for the day as a precaution.

In a brief statement before he was sentenced in federal court in Concord, Hendrickson offered his “deepest apologies” to the school district, students and parents.

“It was never my intention to hurt anyone,” he said, adding that he took full responsibility for his actions.

Hendrickson faces a separate hearing in August on a request from the school district to pay for upgraded security measures following the threat, which “shook us to our core,” Zach McLaughlin, superintendent, said in a letter to the judge. McLaughlin asked for nearly $220,000 in the improvements and in lost wages for staff.

Hendrickson faced a range of 33 months to 41 months in prison, according to federal sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors asked for 48 months, saying that Hendrickson had a “significant arsenal" of firearms, ammunition and body armor when he was arrested the next day in Portland, Maine. His last known address was in Berwick. Hendrickson's lawyer asked that he not be sentenced to more than 30 months, noting that he took advantage of various programs in jail and had a difficult upbringing.

“This was a bad joke,” his attorney, Murdoch Walker said. “It certainly has severe repercussions." He said that Hendrickson had dropped his mother off at the school earlier that day for an errand and told a friend he was going to make an “awesome” video, in a joking manner.

U.S. District Judge Samantha Elliott sentenced Hendrickson to 37 months in prison, followed by three years of supervision. She noted how “incredibly fearful” people nationwide are of school shootings.

“It's not really a joke if everbody else is terrified" that he could do it, she told him.