Arrests Made in Pana School Shooter Threats, Investigations Continue in Similar Incidents in Central Illinois

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 5, 2022 at 7:34am

A pair of arrests have been made in connection to a threat at a Central Illinois high school.

The Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigators have announced the arrest of a pair of juveniles for threats of violence at Pana High School in an ongoing investigation after the school was put on lockdown Wednesday.

A message had been found written on a restroom stall indicating there was an active shooter in the building. According to the report, a second and previously unreported threatening message was found in a restroom stall on Thursday.

Illinois State Police Investigators say that the two messages were separate, unrelated incidents, and after a thorough investigation, two separate juveniles are believed to be responsible.

According to the release, Christian County States Attorney Wes Poggenpohl has approved one count of disorderly conduct threat of violence, a Class 4 Felony, for each of the juvenile suspects.

State police say no further information will be released concerning the identities of the subjects since they are juveniles.

The charges come on the heels of an arrest made at Taylorville High School on Thursday after another threatening message was found in a restroom. In this case, Taylorville Police determined the student who reported the message was the one who wrote it on the stall wall.

18-year-old Payton L. Chronister was arrested and transported to the Christian County Sheriff’s Office. Chronister was charged in Christian County Court on Friday with class 4 felony threatening a school building or person.

He was appointed a public defender and bond in the case was set at $10,000. He is next due in court for a preliminary hearing on December 12th.

North Mac High School in Virden was also placed on lockdown Thursday morning when a message threatening of a school shooter was found in a girls’ restroom.

No updates have been made available in the North Mac investigation and authorities have not indicated that any of the four messages were related in any way.