Smithfield police say 22-year-old Christofer Knowlton is in jail after he contacted an online FBI tipline last week saying he needed help or he was afraid he’d be in danger of committing a school shooting — but there does not appear to be a current threat to the community.
Police Chief Travis Allen said the department was notified Monday afternoon and officers visited Knowlton’s home immediately. Knowlton freely admitted he sent the threat and he was immediately taken into custody based on that information, Allen said.
“It was a very quick and easy matter to resolve, and we notified schools at that point,” Allen said.
Cache County School District spokesman Tim Smith said the school resource officer was notified on Monday, but as a public information officer, he did not get the information until Tuesday.
Then, because Knowlton was in jail and not an immediate threat to the community, he felt it was prudent to meet with law enforcement to learn more about what happened before he put information out to the public.
He met with police on Wednesday, and parents received notification later that evening.
Since Monday, police have served a number of search warrants in an ongoing investigation. Allen said there were no firearms in the home, and so far there appears to be no additional evidence that would substantiate a threat of violence. However, investigators are still in the process of searching computer and other electronic devices before coming to a final decision.
In the meantime, Knowlton remains in custody in the Cache County Jail, where he is being held on suspicion of making a threat of violence, a misdemeanor offense. Bail is presently set at $30,000. Formal charges had yet to be recorded as of Thursday afternoon.