KSS student arrested for school shooting threats
June 11, 2008 · Updated 10:36 AM
A 17-year-old Klahowya Secondary School student was arrested late Thursday evening for threatening to bring a gun to school and do a "Virginia Tech thing."
The 17-year-old told a fellow classmate not to come to school Friday and if she did, to "stay out of the crossfire," according to the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office.
He told another classmate he would bring a gun to school on Friday and kill 30 people, according to court documents.
Other students heard about the suspect's comments as CenCom (911) became inundated with phone calls from parents Thursday evening.
"This information started spreading rapidly," said Deputy Scott Wilson, spokesman for the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office.
The classmate went home and discussed the conversation with her family. Later that evening an assistant principal at Klahowya was contacted and the sheriff's office was called.
"(The classmate) inferred from the conversation that there was going to be some incident involving a gun," Wilson said.
A deputy responded to the suspect's Seabeck home at 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
"The suspect expressed dissatisfaction with Klahowya and some of the students there," Wilson explained.
The suspect told the deputy he was only joking, but that his classmates took him seriously. There was enough probable cause, however, to arrest him, according to Wilson.
He was booked into juvenile detention on charges of felony harassment/threats to kill and disruption of school activities. He pleaded guilty to gross misdeamenor harassment and was sentenced to five days of juvenile detention and three months of probation by Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Russell Hartman, according to the Kitsap County Prosecutor's Office.
Follow-up work by the sheriff's office continues.
"An initial investigation indicated he didn't have access to firearms," Wilson said.
A letter informing parents was posted on the Klahowya Web site yesterday morning and e-mailed to those parents who have signed up to receive news by e-mail. A hard copy of the letter also was sent home with students.
"We take any threat that affects safety or disrupts the school day very seriously," stated Klahowya Principal Ryan Stevens in the letter to parents. "Under no circumstances would we make any decision that would jeopardize the safety of our students and staff. This is paramount in our decision-making.
"Normal school schedules were followed today (Friday) because law enforcement and school officials were confident the student was not a threat, that he acted alone, and he is in custody."
Stevens commended the students who took appropriate action and reported the threats.
"This vigilance and responsibility is a credit to our students and parents," he stated.