Danville Police will have an increased presence around town schools on Thursday after graffiti found at or near a pair of campuses threatened to harm people on May 8, according to officials.
"We don't have any information that gives validity to this (threat), but we're not going to take any chances," Danville Police Chief Steve Simpkins said.
The first graffiti message -- which stated, "I will kill 12 people on May 8" -- was found written in spray paint on rocks under a bridge adjacent to Charlotte Wood Middle School on El Capitan Drive last Thursday, according to Koehne.
A second message with similar verbiage -- which authorities think was the work of a copycat -- was discovered written in marker in a bathroom Wednesday at John Baldwin Elementary School, located about a mile north on Brookside Drive, officials said.
In light of the reference to a specific date, Danville police will have a "significantly increased presence" at and around Charlotte Wood and John Baldwin on Thursday, according to Simpkins. More officers will also be on patrol near the other schools in the town, he added.
Koehne said the school district has informed the Charlotte Wood and John Baldwin communities about the situation throughout the investigation through letters to parents.
"We have not discouraged people from sending their kids to school," he added. "We believe that tomorrow (May 8), the next day and going forward that school is the safest place for their kids to be."
In addition to the John Baldwin incident, officials have seen copycat messages crop up at Charlotte Wood, including one authorities linked to a boy who was later caught, Simpkins said.
"This is not a joking matter," the chief added. "The person responsible, and any subsequent copycats, will be facing some significant consequences."
Danville Police continue to actively investigate the graffiti messages. Anyone with information about the incidents can contact investigators at 314-3700.
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