Saturday, July 26, 2014

Police seek Movies 14 threat source

February 19. 2013 5:27PM
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WILKES-BARRE – City police obtained two search warrants in an attempt to find who is behind threatening Facebook messages referencing a local radio station's promotion of tonight's movie release Twilight Breaking Dawn Part II to the mass shooting in July at a Colorado movie complex.

The police department stated Wednesday evening that: The police thoroughly investigated this and determined that there is not a credible threat at this time. The individual that made the postings is in Wisconsin.

Mike O'Donnell, director of operations for Entercom Communications, which operates WKRZ, Froggy 101 and WILK, reported the threats to police last week.

WKRZ is hosting an event for the Twilight Breaking Dawn Part II premiere at Movies 14 in downtown Wilkes-Barre at 10 p.m. The event was promoted on the station's Facebook page.

Movies 14 is showing the Twilight movie in two theaters.

O'Donnell, who did not return a call for comment on Wednesday, told police he became alarmed by a message posted by a man that stated, You know what would make Breaking Dawn 2 even more scary? If someone brought a gun to the theater and came out of nowhere and started blasting everyone at the Move (sic) theater, according to the search warrant affidavits.

The message was posted on Nov. 5.

At the bottom of the Facebook post to WKRZ, according to the affidavits, were pictures of the Twilight Breaking Dawn Part II movie poster and James Holmes, the person arrested in a mass shooting at a movie complex in Aurora, Colo., on July 20. Holmes, 24, is accused of entering the theater during a late-night showing of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises and shooting into the audience.

Twelve people were killed and 58 were injured. Holmes is facing several counts of first-degree murder.

O'Donnell reported to police on Nov. 7 that a similar alarming message was posted with pictures of Holmes and a poster for the movie Lincoln, which opens nationwide on Friday.

A message to RC Theaters based in Reisterstown, Md., which operates Movies 14, was not returned on Wednesday.

Movies 14 hires off-duty city police officers for special details.

It remained unknown Wednesday if police notified Movies 14 about the messages or if the theater complex will increase security for the Twilight and Lincoln premieres. Court records indicate no one has been charged.

The search warrants approved by District Judge Martin Kane in Wilkes-Barre last week seek records from Facebook and Road Runner LLC, a subsidiary of Time Warner, an Internet service provider.

Edward Lewis, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 829-7196.

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