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Repeated bomb threats against NYC high school done to impress gamers, say investigators

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Bomb threats emptied out one high school three times over the past 10 days, and the teen arrested for making them apparently did so to impress friends he met playing games on Xbox Live, reports the Staten Island Advance.

Two other schools in the New York City borough also were evacuated on Tuesday, though authorities aren't yet sure if the same suspect is behind those as well.

The Advance reports that the teenaged suspect, arrested Tuesday, "was egged on by his online friends, whom he met playing an Xbox game." The Advance didn't know the game the suspect was playing. He's accused of sending a threatening email to the principal of Susan Wagner High School (pictured), causing an evacuation, on May 14.

After police searched the building, he sent another taunting email, then another on Monday, threatening to detonate four different bombs missed by the sweep. He followed that on Tuesday morning with a telephoned threat to "blow up this [expletive] school."

Two other high schools in the north end of the borough also cleared out Tuesday morning after receiving bomb threats, but investigators haven't yet determined if the same suspect was involved in those.

Bomb threats, "SWATting" and other malevolence have been linked to online gamer culture over the past several years, terrorizing livestreamers and online personalities, but only occasionally resulting in arrest.

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