COPY-MS-13 Text Message Warning Circulates Throughout the State

WILMINGTON --  A threatening message regarding a gang initiation spread like wildfire Tuesday night.

MS-13 is a well known Latino gang who was supposedly having initiation.  The text messages sent said the gang members will hit your car, and then shoot you when you stop.

Barbara Saunders, a concerned parent, received the message and was frightened.  The Wilmington woman didn't know if the text was a hoax or a real threat.

Saunders said she took the warning seriously.

MS-13 has been a problem in our region.

An investigation by WECT in February of 2007 revealed MS-13 was an active gang in Duplin County and several others, with members proud to leave behind signs of their presence.

In 2006, a 16 year old boy in Wallace was murdered by what police said were two MS-13 hitman.

The test message warning didn't just hit cell phones in New Hanover County, it was sent statewide.

Police in Wilmington, Leland, Charlotte, and New Hanover County all said the text message is a hoax, but they are not all ready to dismiss it.

WECT obtained a private email sent to officers by a Wilmington Police Detective that said officers should be aware of the information.

No one has been able to trace the message back to its source, but if the sender's goal was to cruelly scare people, they've succeeded.

Reported by Kelli O'Hara