One Arrest Made; Investigation Continues for WWHS Shooting Threat

BECKLEY, W.Va (WOAY) – On Tuesday, Beckley Police were made aware of a shooting threat note found in Woodrow Wilson High School. On Wednesday, police had gathered enough information to arrest 18-year-old Madison Ewing.

“A student in the class found a note in their class and immediately turned it into their teacher. The teacher contacted the school resource officer who is stationed in that school, you know, every day of the week,” Lt. David Allard said. “He began the investigation at that point. He was pretty quickly able to determine the suspect who had left the note.”

According to Lt. Allard, it was the resource officer and the teacher in the classroom where the note was found who were able to help put the pieces together that lead them to Ewing. Ewing was charged with making terroristic threats and was arraigned on Wednesday.

Because of the threat, Beckley Police took all precautions putting six extra officers at the school early Wednesday morning. Allard says they never thought the threat would ever amount to anything serious but wanted the cornered parents and students to feel safe. 

“Some people might blow it off and say, ‘Oh, it’s fake news. It’s Facebook. Oh, nothing’s going to happen.’ Hopefully nothing does happen, but still at the same time, it has happened,” Elaina Hurley, a concerned parent, said. 

This had both Hurley and her son, Michael Spain, feeling uneasy. Spain, a 9th grader at Woodrow says he wants the school to have more of an open dialogue about these incidents. 

“I think we should talk more about this stuff because it’s the world we live in now. It’s sad. It really is,” Spain said. 

Although an arrest has been made, the investigation will continue.

“I mean, she’s admitted to doing it but as to the motive, it’s something we really can’t go into at this point,” Lt. Allard said. “We’re still investigating. I mean, the note obviously referenced multiple people being involved so we’re trying to track that down to see if that is, in fact, true.”

Raleigh County Schools issued the following statement regarding the matter:

“We are aware of the threat involving Woodrow Wilson High School.  Raleigh County Schools takes all threats seriously and has worked hand in hand with the Beckley Police Department on this matter.  We took appropriate measures to ensure the safety of our students and staff.  Additional law enforcement and security were on hand today at Woodrow Wilson.  This incident has been investigated, the perpetrator who wrote the note has been identified, the school has taken appropriate action, and law enforcement has taken the suspect into custody.”
Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.