Boy accused of plotting school attack
Discussed mass shooting, police say
A 12-year-old boy was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of felony menacing, after he allegedly told a classmate at Orchard Mesa Middle School that he planned to “do a re-creation of the Columbine shooting.”
According to the Grand Junction Police Department, a student at the school heard the boy claim that he was going to carry out a school shooting in coming days. That student told their parent what the boy said, and the parent called police.
Department spokeswoman Heidi Davidson said police were called at approximately 6 p.m. Thursday.
Officers contacted the juvenile suspect at his home and interviewed him in the presence of a legal guardian, Davidson said.
The boy was arrested on suspicion of felony menacing and interference with staff, faculty or students of an education institution, which is a misdemeanor.
The boy appeared in juvenile court Friday morning and is being held without bond, according to Mesa County District Attorney Dan Rubinstein.
Authorities are not releasing the name of the suspect or his arrest affidavit because he is being held on a class five felony charge. Juvenile suspects are named by law enforcement only when they face a class four felony charge or greater.
Davidson said in a statement that the investigation is active and ongoing, and that interviews with potential witnesses will be conducted in coming days.
Orchard Mesa Middle School operated on a normal schedule Friday, though there were additional police officers on campus.
School District 51 spokeswoman Emily Shockley said the parent contacted school district officials on Thursday night immediately after contacting law enforcement. A security team evaluated the threat, Shockley said, and felt comfortable allowing school to proceed as normal on Friday.
“If the source of the threat is detained, it helps us feel a lot more confident about the decision to have school,” she said.
Davidson said she was grateful for the student who told their parent about the threat.
“This is an opportunity to say thank you to kids that are brave enough to speak up,” she said.