A curious resident unearthed a 13-year-old suspended Glover Middle School student’s plan to shoot staff, according to court documents filed Thursday.
The boy was arrested Wednesday afternoon by the FBI and Spokane Police Department on suspicion of three counts of felony harassment.
On Tuesday morning, a man was sitting outside a home he’s renovating along with the homeowner when a teenage boy approached them, according to court documents.
The homeowner asked the boy why he wasn’t in school, the tipster told police. The student replied that he had been expelled because he had buried a gun on school grounds.
The man, who lives in the house he’s helping renovate, was concerned due to recent school shootings across the United States and asked the boy some more questions, according to court documents. The boy said he buried a Glock 19 at school because he had been threatened by several men in their 20s, and if they showed up he would shoot them.
Police spokesperson Julie Humphreys said she was unable to answer questions Thursday evening on whether a gun was located at the middle school or if the school was searched.
The boy then told the man that his younger cousin had told adults about his gun at school and that’s why he was expelled. The 13-year-old said he was angry at the school for expelling him, so he was going to “blast some caps into the school,” specifically targeting the “principal and staff,” the tipster recounted to police.
The boy also told the man that his parents were largely absent in his life. Both used drugs, so he spent most of his time at his grandfather’s home on North Lincoln Street.
At one point, the boy pulled out a pipe and smoked marijuana, the man told police. Later during the conversation, the 13-year-old pulled out a clear pipe and smoked what the man believed to be methamphetamine, he told police.
Later that day, the man who talked to the boy went to Glover Middle School and told Alyson Chamberlin, assistant to the principal, about the threats.
Chamberlin recognized the boy as having made numerous threats in the past and called 911, according to court documents.
When police responded to the school Wednesday afternoon, Chamberlin told police that she believed the boy was capable of carrying out his threat to shoot school staff. She also told police that the boy had threatened to stab a teacher in the neck and pull out their veins.
The boy had been seen on social media holding a Glock handgun and has access to drugs, she told police.
When interviewed by police Wednesday, Glover Middle School Principal Mark Lund agreed with Chamberlin’s assessment that the boy was capable of carrying out his shooting threat. A school intervention specialist who worked with the boy also told police that she felt he was capable of bringing a gun to school and hurting staff and students, according to court documents.
The 13-year-old boy received detention in May 2021 for bullying another student. A month later, he was suspended, according to court documents. On Feb. 1 of this school year, the boy was suspended again; however, the reason for the suspension was not indicated in court documents.
On Feb. 18, the boy was suspended for threatening to slit another student’s throat, according to court documents. In a voicemail, the boy detailed to a friend how he would stab a female student in the chest multiple times, according to school records obtained by police.
Police said Thursday evening they were unaware of any reports about the February threat.
Assistant Police Chief Justin Lundgren echoed that criticism Thursday.
“In today’s environment, each threat involving a school must be taken seriously. When there are indicators that violence may occur at a school, officers have precious little time to assess and intervene before threats may materialize into potential violent actions,” Lundgren wrote in an email. “Our opportunity to have a peaceful outcome hinges upon the prompt reporting of threats to law enforcement.”
Spokane Public Schools did not immediately respond to request for comment Thursday evening.
Because school staff felt the most recent threat was credible and reported to police, officers were stationed at Glover Middle School throughout the day Wednesday.
Spokane Police along with the FBI located the student and arrested him at about noon Wednesday.
The boy’s parents and grandfather told police they weren’t aware of any firearms in their homes or in the 13-year-old’s possession, according to court documents.
The boy made his first appearance in juvenile court Thursday and remains in Spokane County Juvenile Detention.
The incident comes less than two weeks after a student at Sunset Elementary School in Airway Heights brought a gun to school in a backpack, according to an email to parents by the school’s principal. Airway Heights police did not respond to request for comment on the incident.
In March, police arrested a 12-year-old Willard Elementary School student for bringing a loaded revolver to school. Police have declined to provide any details on the incident because the investigation is on going.
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