15 Yr Old Teenager Arrested
For Threatening School Shooting -
24 Guns Seized
Canadian Press
100 MILE HOUSE, B.C. (CP) - A troubled 15-year-old boy has been charged with threatening to shoot his classmates and police have seized 24 guns and six knives from his house.
RCMP Cpl. Rick Bigland said police were alerted late Wednesday after the boy was suspended and threatened to return to school to start shooting.
Police also seized a list of 11 students' names from the boy's bedroom. The students had apparently "bugged" the boy in the past, Bigland said.
"The youth, who has a history of aggressive behavior and suspensions within the school, had allegedly told students that he would return to school and shoot a specific staff member and a number of students," said Bigland.
The threat came just over a week after a 14-year-old boy walked into his school in Taber, Alta., and shot two students, killing one and seriously wounding another.
The boy in the Taber incident showed no emotion when he made a brief court appearance Thursday.
Two weeks ago, two teenagers shot and killed 12 students and one teacher in Littleton, Colo., before killing themselves.
Those accused of both shootings have been described as teens who were picked on by their peers.
Police in 100 Mile House, about 600 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, seized 18 long-barrelled firearms and six handguns from the house.
The weapons were lawfully owned by the boy's father and were properly stored. But Bigland said the youth could have had access to them.
The knives were found in the boy's bedroom, along with the list of students's names.
The family lives in 70 Mile House, a village of about 100 people just south of 100 Mile House.
The teen is scheduled to appear in court today. Police are recommending he undergo a psychiatric assessment.
Police called an assembly at the school Thursday to talk to students and teachers, many of whom already knew of the arrest.
"Nothing ever surprises me," said teacher Lorne Landry.
"This is just a wave of stuff that is based on stuff happening elsewhere."
Another meeting with parents, school officials and RCMP investigators was scheduled for Thursday evening.
Police said the boy was suspended from 100 Mile Junior Secondary School school earlier this week after an altercation with another student.
There are about 450 students and 30 teachers at the school, which educates Grade 8 and 9 students from the region around 100 Mile House.
Brian Butcher, the district school superintendent, said authorities were alerted after a student told her mother about the boy's threats. The mother called the school principal, who then called police.
Butcher said the Grade 9 boy is an outsider whose discipline problems were known to district authorities.
"But if you were to meet this kid in a hallway and you were to look at him, you'd say this is one of the nicest kids you'd ever seen," Butcher said.
"I know the parents must be terribly devastated by this."
Butcher said the extensive television coverage given to the Taber and Littleton incidents has made such events very real for students.
"It's very immediate and it's very public."
Butcher said school officials have worked hard at raising awareness of teen violence issues.
"We have reacted to this situation. The RCMP have it in hand and the kids are being looked after."
Donna Barnett, mayor of the Interior town of about 2,000, said the incident is an isolated one.
"It is very disturbing," she said.
The region has plenty of programs for troubled youth, including a so-called bully beware program in the schools, said Barnett.
"I know there is a lot of help here for youth if they need it."