There was an increased police presence at a Gaithersburg high school Tuesday morning in an “abundance of caution” after a shooting threat was made against the school over the weekend, the school’s principal said in a letter to families.

Montgomery County police arrested a suspect at a McDonald’s in Darnestown who proceeded to direct threats toward Quince Orchard High School, police spokesman Capt. Tom Jordan said.

The man was in his 30s and was arrested for disorderly conduct, Jordan said.

Police do not know if there’s any connection between the suspect and the high school, though they do not believe the threats to be credible, Jordan said.

In an email to families on Monday, Quince Orchard High School Principal Beth Thomas said Montgomery County police informed her of the arrest, and said it was not an “imminent or credible threat.”

She did not disclose how long additional security would be assigned to the school.


Quince Orchard High School, at Darnestown and Quince Orchard roads near Gaithersburg, has about 2,000 students.

It is standard practice of county schools to provide additional security resources after a threat of violence is made toward a school, and school officials say they treat all threats as credible until proven otherwise.

The school system is in the process of upping its security procedures countywide by upgrading security cameras, providing secure entrances to buildings and strengthening visitor check-in procedures.


All Montgomery County high schools have at least one resource officer on staff who is a sworn, uniformed law enforcement officer trained in emergency preparedness, crisis management and community policing.

A school system spokesman could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.