GPD: Suspect threatened to “shoot up” schools, police department



Investigators of the Griffin Police Department are currently questioning 28-year-old Joseph Miller, who was taken into custody Thursday following the lockdown of all Griffin-Spalding County schools.

According to Lt. Mike Natale, of the GPD Office of the Chief, a credible threat was received at approximately 0830 Thursday.

Upon receiving a report that Miller had allegedly threatened to “shoot up the schools or the school system and the Police Department,” the GPD requested the Griffin-Spalding County School System lock down all schools.

Judy Parker, the executive director of the Griffin-Spalding County School System Communications and Partnerships Department, initially reported to The GRIP that there was no specific incident involving any school. Parker stated local law enforcement agencies, including the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office and the Griffin Police Department, had requested the action be taken as a precautionary measure.

“All schools are under lockdown per request of the Sheriff. They’re pursuing someone in the community and they asked us to put all schools on lockdown,” Parker said.

As the alleged threat was being investigated, GPD personnel executed a search warrant at Miller’s 305 Louise Lane Apartment B residence.

“The search warrant turned up a small amount of ammunition and a flare gun,” Natale said.

No firearms were located at Miller’s residence.

The suspect was later taken into custody on Solomon Street.

“We knew he had an appointment at DFCS (the Department of Family and Children Services),” Natale said.

Miller was unarmed when apprehended, and taken into custody without incident.

Natale said media reports that Miller had threatened to bomb local schools are false.

He said the information reported to the GPD was viewed as a credible threat.

“We think they’re all credible. We did not want to think this incident wasn’t, so we took it as it was a credible source,” Natale said. “That’s how it ended up in a search warrant and taking him (Miller) into custody. We took it seriously. Even if it was limited information, we took it seriously.”




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