Police: Joliet West student linked to social media threat possessed loaded guns

A Joliet squad car sits on the street in downtown Joliet.

A 15-year-old student at Joliet West High School was accused of posting a photo depicting two guns on a Snapchat group chat, and police later found two loaded guns in the student’s bedroom.

The Snapchat incident was interpreted as a possible threat, and it led to an increased police presence during the early morning hours of Wednesday at the high school.

Police investigated the incident and discovered a photo depicting two handguns posted in the Snapchat group chat typically used for students who are freshman students, said Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English.

A detective contacted school administrators and security after learning of the photo.

Once the 15-year-old male was identified as the suspect who created the Snapchat post, detectives went to his home in the 400 block of South Des Plaines Street and took him into custody.

“Following a search of the student’s bedroom, detectives recovered two loaded handguns. The serial numbers on the handguns appeared to be defaced,” English said.

Detectives determined the firearms were the same ones depicted in the Snapchat post.

The 15-year-old was arrested on charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, defacing identification marks on a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and disorderly conduct, English said.

The teen was then taken to River Valley Juvenile Detention Center in Joliet.