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Saturday, September 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Juveniles admit throwing rock through school bus in North Idaho

UPDATED: Mon., Sept. 14, 2020

A student’s photo shows the damage left by a projectile that went  (KHQ)
A student’s photo shows the damage left by a projectile that went (KHQ)

A group of juveniles admitted throwing rocks at the Lakeside High School football team’s school bus Friday night in Clark Fork, Idaho, following a 42-28 win against Clark Fork High School, according to a Bonner County Sheriff’s news release. One player was injured when he was cut by broken glass.

Authorities are seeking felony charges for the juveniles, who the sheriff’s office did not name due to their youth.

A projectile that shot through two windows of the moving school bus was not a bullet, officials said.

The projectile broke through a window, grazed an equipment bag and shot out another window, said Plummer-Worley School District superintendent Russ Mitchell on Monday.

Lakeside High School stands on the Coeur d’Alene Reservation and serves a population of 60% Native American students.

Four law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, immediately began investigating Friday night, Mitchell said. Footage they reviewed from the bus showed the projectile was “of considerable size,” Mitchell wrote in a news release Monday.

The object “could be likened to a large rock or potato,” Mitchell wrote, but law enforcement had not informed the school district of the object’s composition as of Monday.

Coach Chris Dohrman said Sunday he was almost certain the projectile had been a bullet, because of its velocity as it shot through the bus.

Law enforcement told the school district they had developed a short list of suspects, though the investigation is continuing, Mitchell wrote.

Capt. Tim Hemphill at the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office said authorities had access to footage at several points along the bus’s short route, which had traveled less than a mile from Clark Fork High School when the object shot through.

Both the Plummer-Worley School District and Lake Pend Oreille School District have worked closely with law enforcement and provided the video taken from inside the bus, according to the release.

Dohrman said the incident was terrifying. In the rural area, only one student on the bus – which carried 15 athletes, Dohrman and a bus driver – had cell service, and he was able to call medics to address one student’s cut from a glass shard.

One student was sitting back in his seat when the projectile shot past about 6 inches from his face, Dohrman said.

“The whole incident is pretty shocking,” Dohrman said. “We’re just grateful this is a really scary incident and not a tragedy.”

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