News by VICE

Boy told Apple’s Siri: “I’m going to shoot up a school.” Siri responded with a list of schools in the area

A middle school student in Indiana was arrested and charged with intimidation.

by Tess Owen
Feb 4 2019, 4:37pm

A middle school student in Indiana was arrested and charged with intimidation after he threatened to shoot up a school on Apple’s voice assistant Siri, police say.

The 13-year-old boy, who at the time was visiting family in Valparaiso, about 20 miles south of where he attends school, told Siri, “I am going to shoot up a school,” police said in a statement late last week.

In response to his query, the Apple assistant gave him a list of schools in Valparaiso on his iPhone, based on his location. The boy took a screenshot of Siri’s response and posted it on social media.

His friends on social media alerted police in Chesterton, where he lives, who contacted police in Valparaiso.

“The made no direct threat to a specific person, school, or school system,” Valparaiso police said. “It has since been discovered the male has no access to weapons and posted the picture on social media as a joke.”

Even though police determined that the threat wasn’t credible, police say they take those types of threats and communications very seriously.

He was detained at the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center late last week. Valparaiso Police Department did not respond to VICE News’ request for an update on Monday.

Responding to school shooting threats is a routine reality for local police departments nationwide. According to a study by Educator’s School Safety Network, there were more than 3,380 shooting threats in the school year 2017 to 2018, up 62 percent from the previous school year.

In the month following the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, police from Indiana to New York to Florida reported a surge in school shooting threats, many of which were pranks.

Cover: The Photos application is seen on an iPhone in this photo illustration on January 29, 2019. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)