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Ridgetop student arrested for making 'hit list,' threats to kill
A 12-year-old Ridgetop Junior High student was arrested Dec. 18 for allegedly creating a plan to shoot students and staff at the school. What officials describe as a "hit list" with 18 names on it and floor plans of the school were found during a search of the student's personal possessions.
Based upon information provided to the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) by the FBI Seattle Division, the student was taken into custody and booked into Kitsap County Youth Services Center "on a charge of harassment – threats to kill," states a KCSO press release.
The student was not named because he is a minor.
The Central Kitsap School District took "significant disciplinary action against the student," states the release. Deputy Scott Wilson, a spokesman for the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office, said he could not say what that discipline entails, including whether the student was expelled or not.
The FBI received a Dec. 15 tip about the 12 year old's plot from a "concerned adult" who had been monitoring a juvenile chatroom dialogue on the Internet. Wilson said it was unclear why the parent chose to contact the FBI instead of the local sheriff's office.
"Chat messages originated by the student included statements of serious concern to law enforcement authorities," states the release. The information was linked to an address in East Bremerton where sheriff's office detectives contacted the student and a parent.
Detectives and a FBI special agent contacted Ridgetop Junior High School administrators Dec. 16 and a search of the student's possessions by school officials "turned up a hand-drawn floor plan/map of sections of the school as well as a handwritten 'hit list,'" states the release.
"It takes it above a certain level," said Wilson of the elaborate plans. "We don't have any indication that anybody else is involved."
Wilson said authorities arrested the student due to the detailed nature of the plans, which included ways to block potential escape routes, but Wilson was unable to comment on any possible motive the student might have had. According to available records, Wilson said the boy has not any prior issues with law enforcement.
Wilson said other specific information, such as what type of gun the boy planned on using, would not be released at this time. He said much of that information is available in sealed juvenile court files. The student planned to execute the attack with a firearm, but he had no access to one, Wilson added. That determination was based on a search by authorities of his parent's home and who else he may have been in contact with who may have had firearms.
"He's not involved in the gang culture," said Wilson. "He was just expressing himself and he did it inappropriately."
Because it was uncertain how serious the situation was, the lead detective on the case did not want to release additional details. When calls started coming in, the department decided to release information -- almost a week after the incident -- to let the public know what was going on, Wilson said.