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Joke about killing teacher lands Mead student in jail

A Mead High School junior is facing a felony charge after jokingly telling his teacher he was hired to kill her, police said. The 16-year-old has been booked into Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center for harassment – threat to kill.

The school district in north Spokane County has not disclosed whether the student will be expelled or suspended. But, “he’ll remain out of school until that’s decided,” said Mead spokesman Ralph Thayer.

The student reportedly entered a classroom about 8:40 a.m. Wednesday with his hands extended as if clasping a pistol, the sheriff’s department said. When he confronted the teacher with the death threat, she ran from the classroom and he walked out after her, investigators said.

The incident was reported to 911, and a dozen deputies from as far as Spokane Valley raced to the school with emergency lights and sirens on.

The first deputy on scene, David Trautman, obtained the suspect’s description from students, who remained in the classroom. Trautman located the suspect in a hallway about 8:59 a.m., handcuffed and searched him.

No weapon was found.

The school was placed in lockdown status, and school buses were diverted from the school during the incident. Arriving students were kept outside, and an empty bus was stationed as a warming shelter for them until the emergency passed.

The lockdown was lifted at 9:02 a.m. as the investigation continued.

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