Washington teens suspected of school threats, robberies, rabbit deaths
In three different stories, teens across Washington state are suspected of – or confessed to – some troubling crimes.
In the Battleground School District five schools reopened Thursday morning after they were shut down Wednesday by a threat.
Police suspect the threat came from a 13-year-old student. He’s accused of threatening to “shoot up” and “blow up” his middle school, shoot a teacher and kill himself.
The student, who has been enrolled at Chief Umtuch Middle School in Battle Ground, near Vancouver, Wash., was interviewed by detectives and arrested, then released to his parents, who were cooperating with the investigation.
The boy will be charged with felony harassment.
“The threats were against the school, and the threats were against a teacher,” said Battle Ground Police Lieutenant Roy Butler. “[The threats] were made online, threatening to cause physical harm to the school and physical harm to the teacher.”
Butler says the 13-year-old boy first emailed a suicide note, followed by a second email, which was the threat to use explosives.
Officers determined through their investigation that the 13-year-old suspect did not possess the capabilities or the means to carry out any of the threats that were made. “There is no evidence at this time to indicate any other suspects involved are still at large,” said Butler.
Police have also seized the boy’s computer. They say he is not suicidal.
Meanwhile at Ephrata High School, at least two students have been disciplined for leaving five dead rabbits on the school’s sports rival Quincy High School’s property.
The Quincy mascot is the jackrabbit. Four of the rabbits were found in front of Quincy High – two in trees, two on the ground, and one hanging from the scoreboard.
The school has disciplined the students, but they’re not saying what the punishment was. It’s not known if the police will pursue charges.
Finally, in Everett, police are questioning a teen and a 12-year-old related to several robberies involving a gun.
“We have a 16-year-old who robbed a Jimmy John’s. After that, he actually gave the gun to a 12-year-old who went out and robbed two additional locations,” said Aaron Snell with the Everett Police Department.
Detectives arrested the 12-year-old after spotting him on surveillance footage. He confessed to the two robberies and told police where he got the gun.
He was arraigned in court on Thursday, and plead not guilty.
“We found the 16-year-old, arrested him, he confessed as well and provided the gun,” said Snell.
The 16-year-old also appeared in court Thursday; there will be a later hearing to determine if he should be tried as an adult.
This wasn’t the first time the boys have been arrested. The 16-year-old already has a felony burglary conviction from 2009. Court records show he and some other boys were accused of breaking into an empty rental house in Arlington. Every room of the house was vandalized, and someone partially emptied the backyard koi pond – stealing 14 fish.
By LINDA THOMAS
MyNorthwest.com’s Alyssa Kleven and the Associated Press contributed to this report.