NJ students arrested over ‘shooting up’ email, loaded gun in class
More than a half dozen students in New Jersey have been arrested and charged with causing public alarm as school districts continue to reel from the deadly mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
In Lakewood on Tuesday, a high school student was arrested after emailing police a threat about "blowing up" or "shooting up" a school.
Investigators said the email came from the high school with the name of a student, but after questioning two students, police determined it was an "unamusing" hoax.
The student who sent the email — not the one whose name was on the email — was charged as a juvenile with creating a false public alarm and terroristic threats.
Lakewood High School was placed on lockdown as a precaution while the two students were questioned, according to police Sgt. Greg Staffordsmith. The K9 unit from the Ocean County Sheriff's Office swept the building to check for explosives.
Such hoaxes and scares have been reported in numerous districts in New Jersey following the Florida mass shooting, requiring authorities to respond as if they were real threats. In some cases, the students who have been arrested were 18 years old, meaning they will face charges as adults and their names were released to the public.
Districts, meanwhile, have been discussing how to improve security. Some already have taken the steps to hire armed police officers to patrol school grounds and hallways. On Tuesday, students walked out of Cherry Hill High School East to protest the suspension of a teacher who during class raised questions about security of the school building.
In Somerset County on Friday, a 17-year-old male student who brought a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun to Franklin High School was taken into custody and charged with possession of a firearm and second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
Police were called when the boy brought the gun, which was in his backpack, from class to class, prosecutors said Tuesday. The student was taken to a security office where the weapon was found, according to Prosecutor Michael Robertson. The prosecutor said no threat was made by the student.
A 15-year-old sophomore was escorted out of Dumont High School on Monday after an online threat. A long gun was found in his home. The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office has not released full details about the incident.
Jackson police were called to the Christa McAuliffe Middle School on Monday after a teacher noticed a gun in a student's back pack, according to a statement from the school district.
The student had brought a BB gun to school in order to return it to a friend he borrowed it from over the weekend. The school said the student will be disciplined.
Two students at New Brunswick Middle School have been charged with making a false public alarm. Officials say one student falsely claimed that he had a gun in his backpack. Police found no weapon at his home, either. Another student was arrested Friday after "joking" about having a gun, police said.