Oct. 31 update:
The student arrested for allegedly threatening to carry out a school shooting last week remained in custody over the weekend.
His first court appearance was Oct. 28; his second, which is when official charges will be filed, is Nov. 2.
A judge will determine if the student can then be released or will remain in custody.
A likely charge will be Felony Harassment C for “threatening to kill the person threatened or any other person”, reads the Revised Code of Washington.
Unlike when a student threatened to bomb Enumclaw high last Valentines Day, it’s possible this student will not be released back to his parents under his own personal recognizance.
“King County prosecutors argued the defendant should be held in custody because of the danger to the community, and a judge agreed,” Douglas Wagoner, deputy director of communications with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
There is no bail, and a judge will decide whether to keep him in custody after Nov. 2.
But like the previous school threat, it seems unlikely this student will be charged as an adult.
“The only offenses for which a juvenile can be tried in adult court are serious violent offenses against persons,” Wagoner said last spring, in reference to the Valentines Day threat. He added that this is a state policy, not King County.
If that is the case, the student will receive a much lighter punishment than if he was tried as an adult; the student who made the Valentine’s Day threat was convicted of Felony Harassment C, but her sentence was deferred for a year.
Additionally, she also could have had her conviction dismissed last August (after six months) if she stuck to the conditions of her deferment, like attending all probation counselor appointments, stay in school, and write an essay on school shootings.
Original Oct. 28 article:
A “credible” school shooting threat at Enumclaw Middle School has led to a student being arrested and detained.
According to district communications to students and their families, a 13 year-old student threatened to carry out a school shooting on Halloween on Oct. 27. The district learned of the threat from other students who overheard the threats, which targeted a specific staff member.
“Administrators acted quickly to notify local law enforcement immediately,” an Oct. 27 message reads. “The Enumclaw Police Department School Resource Officer was able to determine the reported student was not in school at the time and there was no immediate threat.”
However, “the investigation revealed the threats made were found to be credible” and the student was taken into custody; Officer Gary Horejsi said in an Oct. 28 interview that an air soft gun was confiscated, and Horejsi said no other firearms were found in the home, but the investigation is ongoing.
The student’s motive remains unknown.
A message sent to district families today added that the student remained in custody, and will not be returning to campus until a full risk assessment is completed.
“Completed risk assessments can result in disciplinary action ranging from short-term suspension to expulsion,” the district said. “Out of an abundance of caution and to provide additional support for our students, staff, and families, Enumclaw Middle School will have an increased safety presence today and Monday. Our EPD SRO (student resource officer) and additional counseling staff are present at EMS and available to students and staff.”
The student’s first appearance in King County juvenile court was also today, Horejsi said.
The district stressed that it is proud of the students who reported the threat.
“These reports are evidence that students and families care deeply about fostering a safe learning environment for all students and staff at our schools,” ESD said. “The safety of students and staff remains our priority, and we encourage our families to continue to have conversations with students about reporting any concerns.”