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Marcellus High School student charged in connection with threats

— A Marcellus High School Student has been charged in connection with false threats that forced school officials to lock down Marcellus High School for more than three hours this morning.

Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies charged Jacob Downing, 17, of 4361 Slate Hill Road, Marcellus, with one count of first-degree falsely reporting an incident (a class D felony) and one count of third-degree falsely reporting an incident (a class A misdemeanor).

Sheriff’s Deputies said Downing made an anonymous call from his cell phone at 8:15 a.m., just before being dismissed from school due to an illness. During the call, Downing told dispatchers that a student armed with a weapon was going to kill students, deputies said. As the anonymous caller, Downing identified himself as the armed student, deputies said.

The Marcellus School Resource Officer, from the Marcellus Police Department, began the investigation while school officials implemented the school’s lock down procedures. Sheriff’s deputies and members of the New York State Police responded to the school and immediately coordinated efforts, deputies said.

Deputies quickly learned that Downing was not at school. As he was going home, a second threat was received via text message saying there was a bomb in the school. A search of the building by the Sheriff’s and New York State Police K-9 units found no bomb in the school.

Downing was located at his home. Detectives confiscated his cell phone and searched his home, but no additional evidence was found.

Downing was scheduled to appear in the Town of Marcellus Court for his arraignment at 5 p.m. today.

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