The Harlingen Police Department has released new information regarding a suspect that was arrested for making a social media threat.
During a press conference on Tuesday, police said, Joel Hayden Schrimsher, 18, has been charged with making terroristic threats and components of explosives.
Back on June 6, Harlingen police received information from the ATF of a person who posted a threat on Twitter.
According to police, that threat was directed towards religious organizations, specifically mosques and synagogues.
Upon further investigation, it was determined that Schrimsher was the person who made the threat.
At the same time, according to police, authorities spoke with members of the local mosques and synagogues and advised them of the threat.
Once police interviewed Schrimsher, a warrant was issued for making terroristic threats and a warrant was issued for his house.
Upon execution of the search warrant, police said several items were taken into evidence including chemical compounds, commonly used as components of explosives. The items were not derivatives of household items but specific compounds, when combined, would create a substantial explosive, if detonated.
During the press conference, Harlingen Police Chief Michael Kester reassured the public that they’re keeping the public safe.
“We’re on top of this. We’re watching for these particular type of situations and that’s why we reached out to the synagogues and mosques in the area to let them know we’re here for their support and anything they needed. To make sure they feel safe.”
Also during the press conference, District Attorney Luis V. Saenz, said, “Defendant is in custody. We hope he stays in custody. More than ever, be vigilant with neighbors and those on social media. Do not take something for granted.”
This is the first time that a mass threat has happened in Harlingen.
Total bond for Schrimsher has been set at $1 million.