Police: Student admits to sending threatening Instagram messages to Alexandria middle school

Alexandria Police lights (staff photo by James Cullum)

An Alexandria middle school student allegedly admitted to her parents and police that she sent a threatening message to her school’s Instagram page last month, according to a recently released search warrant affidavit.

On Oct. 11 (Wednesday), at around 5 p.m., a now-unavailable Instagram account sent a direct message to an Alexandria middle school’s Instagram page and said, “Be prepared for October 12, 2023,” and then said that “11th and 12th grade upper school teachers” were targeted and that there were “many more who must suffer.”

“This message was then followed by 5 photos of what appeared to be stock images of firearms, (a) pipe bomb, and machetes,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

There are only two middle schools in Alexandria — George Washington Middle School (1005 Mount Vernon Avenue) and Francis C. Hammond Middle School (4646 Seminary Road).

School staff alerted police of the threats, according to the search warrant affidavit.

Police contacted Meta, Inc., the parent company for Instagram, which provided a T-Mobile phone number. The number was matched with a home in Old Town, according to the search warrant affidavit. Police then interviewed the account holder, who said that the phone is used by her daughter, who is a student at an Alexandria middle school.

The student admitted to her mother and police that she sent the Instagram messages, according to the search warrant affidavit.

“(The juvenile) explained that she had utilized her black Google Android cellphone to send the threat and had used online sources in her cellphone to research the… photos,” according to the search warrant affidavit.

Alexandria City Public Schools would not say which middle school was targeted, or whether the student was disciplined.

“Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) does not comment on student matters,” Julia Burgos, the ACPS community relations chief, told ALXnow.