Virginia

Students not charged in #OperationWilltoKill chat room

The Fauquier County Sheriff addresses concerned parents and students

BEALETON, Va. - According to the Fauquier County Sheriff's Office, students involved in a chatroom under the name #OperationWilltoKill will not be charged.

Monday, concerned parents and students filled the auditorium at Liberty High School to ask the Fauquier County Sheriff why?

Sheriff Mosier said after a thorough investigation, there was not enough evidence to move forward with juvenile petitions.

According to officials, a group of students participated in a group chat that talked about disturbing subject matters, particularly targeting one student. 

"They did use the words 'murder', 'kill' and other things, [which is] very alarming. However, unfortunately, whether we agree with it or not, the statements that were made did not constitute threats under the Code of Virginia," said Sgt. James Hartman, Fauquier County Sheriff's Office.

Officials said the conversation happened on a private app, and current laws limit what they can charge the individuals with.

"There needs to be laws passed to address these kinds of situations. The laws have not caught up with the technology," said Sheriff Mosier.

Tensions were high, as parents and students shared their frustrations with a panel of officials.

A friend of the victim's even came out to support him at the meeting. He said he's happy what law enforcement is doing, but the situation is still scary.

"It's a little weird. It's a little odd. We're all protective of him, because we're scared they're going to do something," said Cameron Tannehill, junior, Liberty High School.

Although commenters were riled up, some students were satisfied with the information they received.

"I'm really glad that they had this opportunity for us so that we could find out what was going on and really get our answers that we knew. Some people were really not happy with the answers that they were given, but I am glad to know that they tried their best, they did what they could, and I'm really thankful for that," said Kristina Brigsby, senior, Liberty High School.

Chris Butler with the school district's board of supervisors attended the meeting and said he would prioritize the concerns of citizens and move legislation toward Richmond.


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