LOCUST TOWNSHIP — The Locust Township Police Department is investigating an alleged mass shooting threat against more than 400 members of the LGBTQ community who picnic each year at Knoebels Amusement Resort.

Police Chief Allen Breach confirmed on Friday that the department is investigating the alleged threat that originated on the Facebook page of "Pride Picnic at Knoebels Grove," but the chief would not release the name or details at this time.

"I cannot go further into the details of the investigation," said Breach. "Until we can accurately identify the suspect, I don't want to put out the name or the details."

The threat, according to picnic organizer Michael Escobar, of Elizabethtown, read: "It looks like a good day for a mass shooting," in reference to the 26th annual Pride Picnic this year.

The Pride Picnic was scheduled for Aug. 8 at the park in Elysburg, but the group decided to cancel the event due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the restrictions put in place by the state and the park itself. The threat was made in April on one of the posts but it wasn't noticed until Aug. 9.

The post has since been pulled down and Escobar does not have a screenshot of it, he said.

"I am fearful," Escobar admitted. "People are nuts. Is someone going to show up and carry out the threat next year? I'm going to be paranoid and looking over my shoulder."

The picnic has been held for the last 25 years at Knoebels with more than 400 people from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and Deleware who share food and enjoy the park together. This year, Escobar planned to have a speaker to talk about the importance of voting.

Escobar said the incident was reported to Locust Township. He also spoke with FBI agents, he said.

This is the first time the group has ever received death threats before, but they have had pushback in previous years from the Family Research Council, a fundamentalist activist group, said Escobar.

Stacy Ososkie, the park's public relations manager said the police department reached out to park management about the threat.  

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