Authorities arrest Diboll ISD Snapchat threat suspect

Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Nicholas Flores (Source: Diboll PD)
Nicholas Flores (Source: Diboll PD)

DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) - Diboll ISD school officials, police and the FBI have identified the person responsible for sending threatening Snapchat messages to students and have made an arrest, according to the district's superintendent.

Gary Martel said the suspect was in custody at the Diboll Police Station and was being questioned.

Nicholas Emilio Flores, 18, of Corrigan, is charged with third-degree disorderly conduct.

According to Diboll police, Det. Matt Repond obtained a warrant for Flores' arrest and he was arrested around 6 p.m. when Lufkin police stopped him near the Marriott Hotel on South First Street.
The incident happened Friday morning when someone at the high school received a threatening message with pictures of guns.

Diboll Superintendent Gary Martel told the East Texas News how situation was handled and explained why the school was never on lock down.

Friday morning, an unknown person sent threatening messages to several students at Diboll High School implying something was going to happen at the scheduled pep rally.

"Someone had sent a Snapchat message that the pep rally was going to be live and they had a couple pictures of guns and so it really alerted us," Martel said.

Martel said the threat was taken very seriously from the very beginning.

"We try to take everything seriously as much as possible and look into it as much as possible without creating panic," Martel said.

What's even more scary is what happened after the initial Snapchat threat started circulating.

"The sad part about it is that during this you had some students that were befriending this particular anonymous person, and then they were all of the sudden started getting them," Martel said.

Martel said the rumors of a fictional school shooting also spread like wild fire causing some confusion, but that was never the case. Parents, staff, and surrounding districts were notified out of caution but Diboll High School was never put under lock down.

"I never thought we needed to be on a lock-down procedure because there was no eminent threat at that time and because I did have the FBI on the phone and we did have Snapchat on the computer and the phone. I had a whole group working on it while it was occurring," Martel said. "The key for us is there was never a threat of 'I'm going to do this.' There was some threats made to individual students who became friends with them."

District officials new almost immediately the messages weren't sent through Diboll WiFi and Martel soon learned that the IP address was not pinging in the area.

"We knew that the person was not here ... unless there is some other cyber thing going on out there, it did not come from within the district or from within Diboll."

"We did have it narrowed down by carrier, to some phones, to an area, to almost a person and the good part about it is we're going to show due diligence. We acted swiftly," Martel said.

Martel said the district will pursue charges to the fullest extent possible.

"They hurt the educational process. Our job is to educate children, it's not to deal with these issues," Martel said.

Martel said district officials are already putting together a portfolio of everything that happened, and things they can do differently if a situation like this should ever happen again.

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