SOUTH CAROLINA (MEDIA GENERAL) — A teenager is in custody after a South Carolina school district and police officials say he threatened to shoot up a school called the Dorman Freshman Campus.
In a letter prepared for parents of students at the school, district officials said that several students reported to school administrators that the 13-year-old stated that he was going to bring a gun to school and target African-American students who he accused of bullying him.
He’s also accused of telling his friends to wear red, so that they wouldn’t accidentally be shot.
“I told them that a kid was planning on coming in and shooting up the school,” said one freshman student.
Several witnesses told officers that the 13-year-old planned to kill the school’s SRO and even debated on which caliber gun to use, also taking into account how long different weapons could take to kill several students.
In a joint press conference with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, officials said the teen admitted to making the statements, but told administrators he was joking.
“However we take this and every threat seriously,” officials stated. “We immediately contacted law enforcement and the 13-year-old is in custody. This is an expellable offense. We would like to thank the students who came forward and encourage anyone with more information to come forward.”
According to deputies, the teen was asked if he had any weapons at home. He said, “no… but my uncle has some.”
School District officials said that they will have increased security on campus Friday.
“As you know, safety is our first priority and we will not tolerate this type of threat or actions at Dorman Freshman Academy or at any other school in our District.”
Lt. Kevin Bobo with the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office says those who came forward should be commended.
“It used to be, no student wanted to be labeled as a tattle-tale or a snitch. But now, I think students are taking more of a personal interest in their own safety and the safety of their fellow students.”