Homecoming at Southampton High School turned quickly from a fun filled evening to a frightening lockdown.
Revelers were in high gear on Saturday, October 6, when Southampton Village Police received a call shortly after 9:30 PM. Staffers at the high school reported they had just received an ominous threat that something was going to happen at the school, where more than 100 students were blissfully unaware of the problem.
Police called for assistance and raced to the school, putting the campus in lockdown, freezing all the revelers inside the secured building.
About two dozen officers, including state troopers and others from the Southampton Town police force, in addition to village police secured the perimeter of the building. Some officers were armed with rifles. Two canine units sniffed for evidence, munitions or bomb materials. The entire block was soon cordoned off.
The threat, police learned from students, was a post on Snapchat of three males in a vehicle posing with what appeared to be an AR-15 assault rifle and stating, “pull up to after homecoming SH” while brandishing the weapon. Students were systematically dismissed from the school to their families under the supervision of police and school security without any issues. The building and street were reopened at approximately 10:49 PM. By then the young men who appeared in the photo had become the targets of investigators.
At 11:56 PM, Kevin Chavez, 19, of Bridgehampton, was arrested on Oak View Highway in East Hampton. Police also recovered a replica AR-15, which turned out to be a Sig Sauer Air gun, at a nearby residence near Three Mile Harbor Road in East Hampton. Police determined it was the weapon in the Snapchat positing, and Chavez was holding it.
Chavez was taken into custody and charged with a third degree misdemeanor for falsely reporting an incident. After processing, he then was transported to University Hospital in Stony Brook for a psychological evaluation.
The investigation is not over: village police are urging anyone with any information to call 631-283-0056. Identities will be kept in confidence.