Police in Washington, D.C., arrested a 16-year-old boy Thursday in connection with several bomb threats that were made against eight schools this week.
The arrest was made two days after second gentleman Doug Emhoff was evacuated from an event at a district high school after a bomb threat.
The Metropolitan Police Department said that the teen in custody is a resident of southeast D.C. and has been charged with making terrorist threats. The police investigation is ongoing and no further information about the teen's identity or his motives have been released.
Eight predominantly black schools, including four public schools and four charter schools, were evacuated Wednesday afternoon after receiving anonymous bomb threats. Police responding to the threats cleared each school and did not find any hazardous materials, authorities said.
The targeted schools were Dunbar High School, Theodore Roosevelt High School, Ron Brown High School, KIPP DC College Preparatory, IDEA Public Charter School, Seed Public Charter School, McKinley Technology High School, and Friendship Public Charter School.
The multiple threats came just one day after Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, was escorted out of a Black History Month event at Dunbar High School by the Secret Service because of another bomb threat. A police investigation did not find any sign of a bomb.
Authorities are working to determine if the bomb threats are connected to recent threats made against several historically black colleges and universities across the country, including Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. At least a dozen bomb threats were made against HBCUs on Feb. 1, the beginning of Black History Month.
The FBI identified six “tech savvy” juveniles as persons of interest in their investigation, and NBC News reported that a law enforcement official said the suspects appeared to have racist motivations.
The MPD said it is working with the FBI to determine if the threats made against the D.C. schools are connected to the threats made against HBCUs nationally, WRC-TV reported.
“This is preliminary. So I can't say with any certainty it's not related to recent threats with the historically black colleges, but our partners at the FBI Washington Field Office will work with us to kind of decipher what we have here and make those links — if any. But at this time, it doesn't appear to be related,” MPD Executive Assistant Chief of Police Ashan Benedict said.
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