Threat at Detroit Lakes High School resolved, say police and school officials

After an anonymous threat of violence at Detroit Lakes High School was received early this morning, local police and school officials worked together to investigate and resolve the issue by mid-afternoon. Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steven Todd and School Superintendent Mark Jenson said in a joint statement that consequences would be "severe" for anyone involved in the threat.

A Detroit Lakes police cruiser sits outside the Detroit Lakes High School on Nov. 2, 2021 after an overnight threat was received against the school. The campus is closed to the general public while students remain inside. (Michael Achterling / Detroit Lakes Tribune)

Detroit Lakes High School was temporarily closed to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 2, after an anonymous threat made to the school in the early morning hours prompted a police investigation.

Principal Joshua Omang sent out an email to parents of DLHS students early in the morning, noting that a threat of violence had been received and was being investigated. Omang also stated that there would be "a large police presence" at the school, as a precautionary measure, and added, "We are also checking every student backpack this morning.”

"Everything is safe and under control," said Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steven Todd in an interview with the Tribune. "I will do everything in my power to continue to make sure our students are safe in their learning environment."

As a precaution, the building was closed to the public and students were required to remain on campus for their lunch period.


"There's no comings and goings, particularly during lunch hour today," Todd said.

By mid-afternoon, however, the incident was handled, according to a joint statement issued shortly before 2 p.m. by Chief Todd and School Superintendent Mark Jenson.

"At this time, we feel that the matter has been resolved," the joint release stated. "The individuals responsible have been identified and dealt with in an appropriate manner by both school officials and law enforcement."

Though the investigation into the incident is ongoing and no details — such as the names of those responsible — will be released until it is concluded, the joint statement did include some information about the events that unfolded:

"Local law enforcement shared information with the school district early this morning regarding a possible threat of violence at 'DL' High School. The threat was made via an anonymous tip line at a news outlet in Fargo. Due to the nature of the call, police were unable to determine if the caller was referring to Detroit Lakes or Devils Lake (North Dakota).

"Out of an abundance of caution, law enforcement and school district officials collaborated and agreed to have a larger than normal police presence at the high school today.

"As this was occurring, students at a different school within the district reported that a student had posted on social media a statement that they were going to 'shoot up the school.' Thankfully these students promptly reported this information to school officials and the situation was dealt with immediately. Throughout all of this, district staff and law enforcement have worked seamlessly together and we feel that the situation has been resolved and that the two incidents were related.


"Safety is one of our highest priorities at DLPS and DLPD, and consequences will be severe for individuals that threaten harm to our students or staff. We are encouraged to know that students felt able to bring the information forward so school officials could address the concerns."

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