School Shooting
The police is currently investigating a threat of violence against the Rio Rancho High School, New Mexico. In this photo, Kristi Gilroy (R), hugs a young woman at a police check point near the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed by a gunman in Parkland, Florida, Feb. 15, 2018. Getty Images/ Mark Wilson

The police is currently investigating a threat of violence against Rio Rancho High School, New Mexico, made Tuesday.

The screenshot of a social media post was circulated Tuesday among Rio Rancho High school students, in which an individual threatened to unleash a mass shooting in the institution the following day, adding that it will mainly target the humanities and fine arts buildings, local news KOAT reported.

This created widespread panic among the school students and the police were alerted of the same around 8 p.m. local time (10 p.m. EST). The police are currently coordinating with Rio Rancho Public Schools to ensure the safety of the students.

The Rio Rancho Police Department said the school’s students should expect extra police presence inside their institution till the matter is resolved.

It is not immediately clear if the person who threatened to conduct the mass shooting is a student or staff of the school. People with any information regarding the threats have been requested to contact the Regional Communications Center at 505-891-7226.

The Superintendent of Rio Rancho schools, V. Sue Cleveland, issued the following the statement: “We have received threatening comments regarding Rio Rancho High School via social media this evening. We have been in contact with the Rio Rancho Police Department and they along with Rio Rancho Public Schools Safety and Security Department are investigating the threat and sources of the threat.”

“We appreciate the many reports, screenshots and emails we have received from concerned parents, students, staff members and community members. We are taking this report very seriously. Additional RRPS Security and RRPD officers will be stationed at the school tomorrow and additional precautions will be taken,” the statement added.

The statement recognized the fact that a number of high schools across the nation had been receiving similar threats from students with the intention of creating unnecessary chaos following the incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida where a former student shot and killed 17 people Feb. 14.

“It is appalling that individuals would capitalize on recent tragedies to insight fear and anxiety among students and parents,” the statement said.

Cleveland also stressed such threats should not be pulled on anyone as a joke, as doing so could lead to serious legal consequences.

“Law enforcement agencies are taking these threats very seriously and can pursue prosecution even when such incidents are intended as pranks. Please make sure your child is aware of these ramifications and that he or she understands threats related to campus safety will not be tolerated,” the statement said.

On Monday, a high school student in Jefferson County Schools clicked a picture of his friend, added a caption that threatened violence and posted it on social media – a prank meant to terrorize the student at Dakota Ridge and Columbine high schools.

The prank went horribly wrong when, after 60 students reported the threat on an anonymous app, more than 200 people called the police hotline number. Officials said the student could potentially face charges for 100 counts of harassment, and interfering with school operations.

“You can’t say bomb on a plane. You can’t say fire in a theater. And you certainly can’t say shooting at a school,” said John McDonald, the executive director of security and emergency management for Jefferson County Schools, Denver Channel reported.