BELMED, TX (KWTX) – A Snapchat photo of a man wearing a ski mask apologizing for threatening a school shooting against La Vegas Independent School campuses has helped investigators identify the suspect responsible for the district’s “severe lockdown.”
Benjamin Lee Walton, 20, is charged with making a false alarm or report about a school after posting a threat on social media. against La Vega ISD campuses on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
The La Vegas ISD Police Department and the Bellmead Police Department were dispatched to the 4300 block of Harrison Street on Oct. 18 to investigate a report of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of La Vega Primary. Officers identified Watson as the man in the driver’s seat. Watson and his passenger were allegedly wearing ski masks. According to the court document, these people were released at that time.
According to the arrest affidavit, Bellmead officers were alerted to a threat of a school shooting at La Vegas ISD schools around 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 19, prompting a “strict lockdown” that forced students to stay inside the campuses even after that. stay lessons are over.
Police officers were stationed at each campus during the lockdown as McLennan County Sheriff’s Office deputies drove around the area looking for Walton’s vehicle.
Authorities eventually learned that Walton was the person behind the threat after they became aware of a post on the social media app Snapchat. “Walton was identified as the suspect and posted a photo on Snapchat of him and the passenger in his ski mask saying he was ‘remorseful’ after threatening to shoot La Vega ISD,” the statement said.
The Waco Police Department was dispatched to the suspect’s alleged residence on 4th Street in Waco, where he was arrested.
Walton was taken to the McLennan County Jail and is being held on $5,000 bond. State arrest warrants authorities were unable to locate a passenger who was in the car with Walton the day before the threat.
The passenger was not identified in Walton’s arrest warrant, and police have not yet released his name.
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