Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified the EMS principal. The article has been updated.
The student who allegedly threatened a Halloween school shooting has been officially charged by King County prosecutors.
The charge, threat to bomb or injure property, is a Class B felony — but it’s expected the 13 year-old will be charged as a minor, not an adult.
The Courier-Herald typically does not identify minors charged with crimes.
According to charging papers, local police responded to a call from the Enumclaw School District around 9 a.m. on Oct. 27.
Administration told officers they were told by several students that they overheard their peer say he was going to “shoot-up” the school on Halloween the previous day, and provided details about the time and location of the threatened shooting, which included shooting Enumclaw Middle School principal first.
A student also told administration that they saw him with what appeared to be a firearm earlier in the month, though it’s unclear if the weapon was real.
Officers arrested the student at his home and conducted a search around 12:45 p.m.
“No firearm has been recovered at this point in this investigation,” said Douglas Wagoner, deputy communications manager with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. “However, the investigation remains ongoing.”
The student was officially arranged Nov. 2 and pled not guilty. Prosecutors asked the court to keep him in custody, and the judge agreed. King County’s Juvenile Court does not set bail amounts on minors.
“The fact that the respondent is alleged to have made threats against a school, and that witnesses reported previously seeing him in possession of a firearm, factored into King County Prosecutor’s decision to argue that he was a danger to the community and should be held in custody,” Wagoner said.
There is also a question of supervision — the EHS student who threatened to bomb EHS last Valentine’s Day, and was charged with the same crime, was released on the condition that she be watched by an adult 24/7, which included accompanying her mother to work, since she could not attend school.
However, court documents indicate that constant supervision may not be possible when it comes to the EMS student.
His next court date is Nov. 9.
The charge of threatening to bomb or injure property is punishable by a 10-year sentence and/or a fine up to $20,000 for adults.
However state law is very strict when it comes to when minors can be charged as adults, so it’s practically a foregone conclusion he will be prosecuted as a minor.
Still, there are some major differences between the Halloween threat and the Valentine’s Day threat.
First, the Valentine’s Day threat was found to be not credible, as the student had no means to carry it out; the Halloween threat, on the other hand, was found credible.
Second, the EHS student eventually pleaded guilty in exchange for a deferred sentence. She was officially convicted of felony harassment, a Class C felony, and her sentence was 30 days incarceration and a year of probation. However, the sentence was deferred for a year, and it could have been dismissed after six months if she kept to her regular probation appointments stayed out of trouble at school, and wrote an essay on school shootings.
The EMS student, though, has prior criminal history in Pierce County, which means he will not be eligible for deferred disposition, Wagoner said, meaning he will have to serve any sentence handed down to him.