Sumter, SC (WLTX) A threatening email sent to a Sumter school with pictures of an assault weapon has landed three students in hot water.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office responded to Hillcrest Middle School after being told that an email had been sent through the school’s email system that threatened several teachers including District Superintendent Dr. Frank Baker and Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis.

The emails were vulgar and threatening in nature according to deputies. A picture of an assault rifle was included. Further investigation determined that the picture was a stock photograph copied from the internet. There was no indication that the juveniles had actually possessed and photographed the weapon themselves.

In addition to threatening to shoot Dr. Baker and Sheriff Dennis, the email included a threat to “shoot” up the school.

Deputies spoke with the individual whose name was shown on the emails and, through their investigation, two more students were alleged to have been involved.

On Thursday (Oct. 13, 2016), investigators interviewed the two other students with their parents present and found that all three had conspired to send out the emails.

Charges include two counts of threatening the life of a public official, and one count of disturbing schools.

The 13-year-old juveniles will be petitioned to the Department of Juvenile Justice.