NJ 15-year-old accused of threat to ‘shoot up’ his Warren high school
A 15-year-old student has been accused of threatening to “shoot up” Watchung Hills Regional High School, just a day after the horrific elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas.
The Warren Township male teen was taken into custody on Monday and charged as a juvenile with second-degree conspiracy to commit false public alarm and fourth-degree animal cruelty, according to Somerset County Acting Prosecutor Annmarie Taggart.
The prosecutor also shared more details about the phone threat made on May 25.
Around 12:10 p.m., a caller said he was inside a school bathroom with weapons and “was going to shoot up the school at the next bell.”
A lockdown was initiated as Warren Township police, officers from surrounding towns and Somerset County agencies all responded.
After an extensive search of the entire school, the threat was deemed not credible. Students and faculty were dismissed on time, as police stayed on scene.
At no time was there an individual in the school with any type of weapon, authorities confirmed.
Warren Township detectives linked the call to the 15-year-old juvenile who “had direct knowledge of the incident,” Taggart said.
The same teen tried to make a similar call the following day — and also was seen by police in a video, abusing a family pet.
As of Tuesday, the 15-year-old was being held at the Middlesex County Youth Detention Center pending a Family Court appearance.
Anyone with information relating to this investigation can contact the Warren Township Police Department at 908-753-1000, or Warren Township Police tip line at warrenpolice.com, or via the STOPit app.
Information can also be provided anonymously through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477).
The May 24 shooting in Texas by an 18-year-old with an AR-style rifle at Robb Elementary School left 19 children and two adults dead, and multiple others wounded.