Washington state police arrest boy, 13, over school attack threat

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 11, 2013 9:42 PM
Washington state police arrest boy, 13, over school attack threat

By Jonathan Kaminsky

OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - Police arrested a 13-year-old Washington state boy on Wednesday suspected of threatening to shoot a teacher and blow up the middle school he attended, authorities said.

The threat came in an email sent on Tuesday night to Chief Umtuch Middle School in the town of Battle Ground, about 27 miles north of Portland, Oregon, said Battle Ground Police Department Lieutenant Roy Butler.

The email contained a threat to bomb the school and shoot a specific teacher, and led to the daylong closure of the middle school along with five other schools on the same campus, Butler said.

Police arrested and questioned the unidentified boy on Wednesday afternoon and seized his computer, Butler said, noting that the suspect did not appear to have the capacity to carry out the attack. His relationship to the teacher was not immediately clear.

The suspect faces one charge of felony harassment and was released to his parents, who were cooperating with authorities, Butler said. The schools were set to reopen on Thursday.

The case came amid continuing jitters over school shootings, following the massacre last December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that killed 20 students and six staff members.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Prudence Crowther)