UPDATE: 16-year-old arrested in connection with St. Charles HS threat, police say no threat to school

[anvplayer video=”5156844″ station=”998128″]

(ABC 6 News) – St. Charles police chief Jose Pelaez posted Wednesday evening that after investigating the threatening graffiti in the high school’s restroom Monday, the department has concluded there is no threat to the public.

According to St. Charles PD, a 16-year-old female student admitted to writing the threat as a dare and was subsequently placed under arrest.

According to St. Charles police, the student faces charges of threats of violence, criminal damage to property, and disorderly conduct in Winona County Court.

Pelaez detailed a series of social media interactions which led school staff and law enforcement to question the suspected student, as well as the use of school surveillance video.

“For the students’, school staff’s, and parents’ peace of mind, we will continue to have extra patrols inside and outside our schools for the rest of the week,” he added.

(ABC 6 News) – UPDATE: St. Charles Schools superintendent Jeff Apse emailed parents and guardians Wednesday after rumors of a second shooting threat spread through the town.

On Monday, Jan. 9, an anonymous person wrote a message in a girls’ restroom at the high school, including the message, “Jan. 13, 2023, I’m shooting up the school.”

In response, St. Charles Police and Winona County Sheriff’s deputies have maintained a presence at both the high school and elementary school while the investigation continues.

Sgt. Brady Jones confirmed Wednesday that St. Charles police are continuing extra patrols of the city outside of the schools as well.

According to Apse’s email, a second message was written in Chapstick on the high school girls’ bathroom wall Tuesday.

However, Apse wrote that “no evidence was found indicating that the Chapstick message constituted another threat.”

He encouraged parents and students to share any other information, including rumors, with school staff or law enforcement.

The letter’s text is below:

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As many of you are aware, graffiti was found Monday afternoon in the girl’s restroom located on the third floor of the High School building. The graffiti included the message, ‘January 13, 2023, I’m shooting up the school.’

Our top priority is and always will be the safety of our students and staff.

The school district is investigating the message as a threat made to the safety of our students and staff, and we are taking the threat very seriously. We continue to make good progress with our investigation.

You may have recently heard a rumor of a second message that was found in the same restroom yesterday. There was a message written on a wall in what appeared to be Chapstick. Concerns were reported to the High School Office, the concerns were investigated, and no evidence was found indicating that the Chapstick message constituted another threat.

We are receiving tremendous support from the St. Charles Police Department. They are assisting with our investigation, and have maintained a consistent presence in our buildings and on our campuses since being made aware of the threat. Even though the threat was found at the High School, we are taking similar precautions at the Elementary School and working with law enforcement to help ensure the safety of all students and staff in both buildings.

We realize that people have concerns, and that rumors spread. As the school district makes progress we will share factual information with you.

If you are hearing a rumor about something, but have not heard information substantiating the rumor from the school district, please do not assume that the school district is aware of the rumor, please reach out and/or encourage your children to share any information (including what may appear to be a rumor) with school officials and local law enforcement.

Your primary contact at the Elementary School is Principal Ryan Ihrke, rihrke@schs.k12.mn.us, 507-932-4910, Ext. 2104.

Your primary contact at the High School is Principal Brad Berzinski, bberzinski@schs.k12.mn.us, 507-932-4420, Ext. 1153.

The office number for the St. Charles Police Department is 507-932-8020. You can find the email addresses for Chief Pelaez and his team of officers at: https://www.stcharlesmn.org/city-services/police-department/. If you have information that you feel warrants an emergency and needs immediate attention, call 911.

As we make progress, and have new information to share, you can expect an update from me.

We will get through this together. Thank you for your support.


Jeff Apse

Superintendent of Schools

(ABC 6 News) – The St. Charles Police department is investigating after graffiti found in one of the school’s bathrooms included a threat of school violence.

The department received a report Monday from the St. Charles High School regarding a graffiti that included a threat of school violence geared towards this Friday, January 13.

In a social media post to students and parents, the department said extra security patrols will be in and around our schools.

Police are already working closely with school staff and have started an investigation into this threat. There are no suspects at this point.

If you have any information regarding the source of this threat, please report the information immediately to the St. Charles Police Department (phone: 507-932-4500) and the St. Charles High School (phone: 507-932-4420)

Submitted photo of the graffiti found at St. Charles High School