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Investigation into social media threats by elementary schoolers spurs 5 arrests

Five people, three minors and two adults were arrested Friday in relation to an investigation of social media threats.

The threats, which involved guns  — later found to be BB guns — were posted to Instagram by two students at Fairview Elementary School.

Sgt. Dana Cole said incidents like this are not uncommon after a national event like the shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday.

A representative of the school went to the Bloomington Police Department headquarters Friday and showed officers the Instagram posts.

The posts included multiple photos and a video featuring two Fairview Elementary students holding what appeared to be guns. In the video, one of the students held one resembling an AK-47 and made threats toward another student and her brother, according to a press release from BPD.

The weapons were all BB guns, and the students pictured were 11- and 12-year-old boys, according to the release.

According to the press release, the student said the weapon was real and said the students he was threatening were going to be “lit up” in the video.

Police located both boys and one of them said the video was posted during a birthday party at a residence on the east side of Bloomington. The other boy’s parents did not let him speak to investigators.

The boy who spoke with police said the threats were related to a “dating relationship” between two of the kids involved, according to the release.

Both boys were taken to the Southwest Indiana Regional Youth Village, a juvenile detention center in Knox County.

Police went to the location of the birthday party and knocked on the door. There was no initial answer.

Laquita S. Perry-Leverston, 33, eventually came outside and told officers they needed a warrant to search the house. 

She then showed them the assault-style gun from the video and some kind of pistol, both of which were in the trunk of her car.

Perry-Leverston also gave police another replica pistol, which according to the release was not related to the investigation. She said she had no other weapons.

Police found one other gun under a bed after searching the house. All three guns were BB guns.

Before BPD began the search, officers and detectives removed younger individuals from the house. Perry-Leverston’s son, 17, told officers they were not going to touch him, according to the release.

He was arrested and handcuffed for resisting police. While in custody, he threatened to kill an officer and tried to kick out the rear window of a patrol car.

The 17-year-old was tried in adult court for a December 2016 armed robbery and was on probation for that crime.

He was booked into the Monroe County Correctional Center because of his adult probation status.

Perry-Leverston and her husband, 37-year-old Paris R. Leverston Sr., were arrested for disorderly conduct when they were “loud and disruptive” in response to their son being arrested. Perry-Leverston was also charged with resisting law enforcement for pulling away from officers.

Both were booked into the Monroe County Correctional Center.

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