PD: Teen who threatened to ‘shoot up’ school in custody

Kent County
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ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A teenager accused of threatening to “shoot up” Kenowa Hills Middle School is in police custody.

Walker police said the 14-year-old was taken into custody without incident after a lengthy search by his family, the district and the school’s resource officer.

Officers say the student got into a fight on a school bus Thursday and made comments “to go to school and shoot it up.”

Police were unable to find the middle school student before classes Friday, according to Kenowa Hills High School Principal Brett Zuver.

As a precautionary measure, Kenowa Hills school officials canceled all classes in the district Friday. The nearby Holy Trinity Catholic School also closed due to the threat.

“That’s the hard thing, you never know. Better safe than sorry every single time. We would hate to not act on something, and have something actually happen. I think it’s great we’ve taken these measures and these steps, and our students and staff security is first and foremost,” Zuver said.

Kenowa Hills was scheduled to have a half-day of classes Friday.

Superintendent Gerald Hopkins confirmed the boy is an eighth-grader who also has siblings in the district. Authorities are not naming the suspect, who was taken to the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center pending charges for the threat.

Kenowa Hills Public Schools posted the following statement on Facebook Friday:


We apologize for the late notice in canceling school and childcare services this morning. We value your time and schedule and understand last-minute changes impact your day.

A threat was made by a middle school student and reported to the Walker Police Department late Thursday evening. We became aware of the threat at approximately 6 a.m. this morning. We immediately began assessing the threat and looking at multiple variables provided to us by our School Resource Officer, Deputy Erhardt. Ultimately, we made the decision to cancel school because at that time the whereabouts of the student who made the threat was unknown.

We take all threats seriously, and the safety of our students and staff will always be of the utmost importance. Please know we are closely monitoring this situation and will provide further communication should new information arise.

Kenowa Hills is a strong and safe community filled with caring families and students. As we wind down this school year, we are grateful for the many successes within our district and look forward to honoring the Class of 2018 at next week’s Commencement ceremony. We are also thankful for the responsiveness of the public safety staff who were diligent in thinking about the safety of our students, staff and community, and continue to be as they put closure on this incident.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s principal if you observe or hear anything from your child that requires our attention. Thank you for your continued support in keeping our schools and community safe.”


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