PLUMSTED – A 19-year-old student was arrested and charged with threatening to shoot teachers and students at a high school graduation, police said.
Matthew Vanderbeek, 19, of Cream Ridge, allegedly stated on social media that he was going to shoot people at the graduation for New Egypt High School in Plumsted.
Detective Brant Uricks from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Detective Anthony Ringle from Plumsted police began an investigation on June 19. According to police, they “quickly identified Matthew Vanderbeek as the suspect who allegedly utilized social media to communicate his intention to shoot school students and staff.”
A search warrant was obtained for his Hyacinth Court home. The Sheriff’s Department’s Criminalistic Investigation Unit and their K-9 unit searched for firearms and ammunition. No weapons were found, but it was learned that he was attempting to obtain a firearm.
He was charged with Terroristic Threats with a Threat to Kill and 2nd degree Attempting to Possess a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose. He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he was lodged pending a detention hearing.
Police have stated that there is currently no threat to the schools or to the graduation ceremony.