BATTLE GROUND, Wash. -- A 13-year-old boy accused of threatening to "shoot up" and "blow up" his middle school was arrested Wednesday, after the alleged comments kept almost 4,300 pupils home, police said.
Six schools in southwest Washington canceled classes after the boy also threatened to shoot a teacher and kill himself, although officers later said he did not have the means to carry out his plans.
The schools told students to report to classes on Thursday.
The student, who has been enrolled at Chief Umtuch Middle School in Battle Ground, Wash., was interviewed by detectives and arrested, then released to his parents, who were cooperating with the investigation, police Lt. Roy Butler said.
Police seized the boy's computer.
There was no evidence anyone else was involved in the threats, the lieutenant said.
In an initial email sent Tuesday, the boy threatened suicide, Butler said.
In a subsequent email, "he threatened to shoot up the school, blow up the school and shoot a teacher," the officer said, adding he did not know why a specific male teacher was named in the threat.
Police inferred that the student planned to commit suicide at the school, Butler said.
The FBI and Vancouver, Wash., police provided information that led Battle Ground detectives to the boy. Without discussing specifics, Butler said the agencies were "very useful."
Police said their investigation will be forwarded to the Clark County juvenile prosecutor with a recommendation for charges of felony harassment.
Butler said he was not aware of any previous issues with the boy.
Parents should not be concerned about sending their children back to school, the lieutenant said.
Chief Umtuch was closed Wednesday, as were four other schools on the same campus. All five were scheduled to reopen Thursday, school district spokesman Gregg Herrington said.
Officers inspected the five public schools and nothing suspicious was found, Butler said.
The closures affected about 3,850 of the district's nearly 13,000 students. Another 400 students in preschool through high school grades were affected at the nearby, private Firm Foundation Christian School, which closed as a precaution.
Battle Ground is part of the Portland, Ore.-Vancouver, Wash., metro area. It has a population of about 18,000.
First published September 12 2013, 3:43 AM