SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane police are crediting a mother and daughter with foiling what could have been a shooting at Lewis and Clark High School.
The daughter received an e-mail from the suspect, a 15-year-old student, who said he wanted to kill his math teacher and two other students who were apparently giving him a hard time in class. In the e-mail the suspect allegedly wrote, "I want to kill everyone. I want to grab a gun and shoot (a fellow student) in the leg, shoot him all the way up to his chest."
The mom called police Thursday afternoon after classes were over for the day to alert them to the threat.
"He was threatening to kill people, there were some very specific threats about what he wanted to do to specific people and so much so that it was absolutely a concern for us," Spokane Police Officer Teresa Fuller said.
Police and school district resource officers went to the teen's home where he admitted writing the e-mail. Court documents allege the freshman told investigators the guns he planned to use in the attack were available at his father's house.
"In this case, it very well could have been that a huge tragedy that was prevented by just that one simple 'Hey, I saw this what should we do about it?' and then the parent getting the ball rolling calling us," Fuller said.
The teen has no criminal history, was enrolled in advanced placement classes in school and said he was being bullied by at least one of his intended targets. The student is ready to voluntarily commit himself to Sacred Heart's psychiatric ward. Judge Sam Cozza refused to release him to the custody of his parents pending a formal mental health evaluation.
LC students are grateful the student who received the threatening e-mail acted on what she read.
"I'm very glad for my safety and all the other students' safety." LC student Page Man said. "We have like 2,000 kids in this school so I'm very glad."
Parents of LC students should receive a recorded call from the school district explaining the nature of the threat and what's being done to ensure the safety of their kids. The targets mentioned in the e-mail have all been offered counseling.
Probation officials say this young man is more stressed out than angry and may have just been venting his frustration about being bullied in that e-mail he wrote, but the suspect thinks he also has mental health problems and the stress of those AP classes may have brought them to the surface.
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