On March 3, 2016 at 7:32 am, the Galion Police Department received a phone call from Galion High School advising that they were made aware that a person had posted on social media that he was “bout to shoot up Galion schools”. The police department immediately started investigating the complaint.
We were able to determine that the person that posted the message was Dennis Heefner, 18 years old from Crestline, Ohio. Immediate action was taken to locate and apprehend Mr. Heefner. The Galion Police Department received assistance from the Crestline Police Department, Bucyrus Police Department and the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.
School Resource Officer Lt. Lynn Sterling was able to obtain information that Dennis Heefner may be in the Cincinnati area. With cooperation of the Loveland Police Department, Dennis Heefner was apprehended at a residence in Loveland, Ohio. Through cooperation with the Crawford County Prosecutor’s Office, an arrest warrant was obtained for Dennis Heefner for Making Terroristic Threats.
The Galion Police Department was in constant communication with the Galion City Schools regarding the safety of all students and faculty on the campus. Information was obtained very quickly in the investigation that the suspect was not in the immediate area, therefore lockdown procedures were not implemented. Loveland Police Department was able to get visual confirmation that the suspect was in Loveland, Ohio and this information was immediately relayed to the schools.
The investigation is ongoing, to include trying to determine the context and nature of the alleged threat.
Dennis Heefner is currently in the custody of the Loveland Police Department, pending formal court proceedings.
“This is a great example of law enforcement working with each other and with the schools for the protection of our students. Immediate action and cooperation led to the quick apprehension of the suspect. Threats made through social media are taken just as seriously as those that are made in person” said Chief Saterfield.