Police Investigate Threat Against Gaithersburg High

Police responded to a threat aimed at Gaithersburg High School on Tuesday, the latest in a string of threats aimed at Montgomery County Public Schools since a shooting at Florida high school last week.

“It looks like rumor more than anything else,” said Officer Dan Lane of the Gaithersburg Police Department.

He said Gaithersburg police received a call from a parent that a text message was going around describing the threat. That led to additional police presence at the school.

“As a point of concern to be cautious, we had officers there throughout the day,” Lane said.

It also prompted Antwan Clipper, who graduated from GHS last year, to visit the school. He has two siblings who still attend the high school. Here’s what he told us:

Meanwhile, Alwin Chen’s bail was reviewed in Montgomery County District Court. Chen has been accused of bringing a loaded handgun onto Clarksburg High School.

The incident occurred Thursday, a day after a gunman killed 17 people at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Chen of the 11700 block of Gunners Drive in Germantown is 18 and is being tried as an adult. He faces weapons charges. He is being held without bail.

On Tuesday evening, Montgomery County police released a list of weapons found in Chen’s home:

  • Two rifles;
  • A shotgun;
  • Two handguns;
  • Ammunition;
  • Inert (replica) grenades;
  • A ballistic vest;
  • A replica electrical firing device (referred to as a clacker); and
  • Chen’s journal.

Police said detectives were trying to confirm ownership of the seized guns. At this time, there is no indication that any of the guns were stolen. There is no indication that the guns belong to anyone other than household members. No explosives were recovered in the home, police said. Investigators from the Montgomery County Fire Marshal’s Office examined the inert grenades and clacker and determined them to be replicas.

Detectives have reviewed the contents of Chen’s journal.  There is no wording regarding any threat nor any expression of wanting to cause harm to anyone at the school in this journal, police said.

Chen’s motive for bringing a gun to school remains under investigation, police said.

This remains an ongoing investigation and detectives continue to work with the State’s Attorney’s Office and Montgomery County Public Schools.  Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Firearms Investigations Unit at 240-773-6400.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


One Response to “Police Investigate Threat Against Gaithersburg High”

  1. On February 20, 2018 at 9:04 pm responded with... #

    As someone who taught at GHS HAPPILY for five years I find the question about putting metal detectors at “a school like this” to be incredibly disrespectful and full of stereotyping. The question could have been asked without adding “school like this”. Incredibly disappointed in this journalism.

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