A British man has been charged after threats to kill 200 people in America were made on Facebook, which led to thousands of pupils staying home from school.

The 24-year-old from South Shields, South Tyneside, was in custody after apparently posting a message on Facebook two days ago.

Reece Elliott, 24, has been charged with making malicious communications and threatening to kill, Northumbria Police said.

According to reports, the post was made anonymously on an online memorial page, set up for a Tennessee student who died in October, a local newspaper said.

That led schools in Warren County, Tennessee, to tighten security, with limited access to premises.

According to reports around 3,000 pupils were absent from school the next day.

According to Sky Tyne and Wear, the anonymous message said: "My father has three guns. I'm planning on killing him first and putting him in a dumpster.

"Then I'm taking the motor and going in fast.

"I'm gonna kill hopefully at least 200 before I kill myself."

Bobby Cox, director of Warren County Schools, Tennessee, updated parents on Facebook, telling them: "We received notice of violent threats directed at Warren County High School late Wednesday evening.

"We put an action plan together with the local authorities to ensure the safety of our schools and our campuses across the system.

"We wanted to make sure that we had all the facts before we sent a mass message out via our calling system to you.

"Currently the Sheriff's Department is working with the TBI and Homeland Security to trace down the person who posted the message.

"In the world we live in we can never be too cautious and must take all threats seriously."

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