North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

February 13, 2013

UPDATE: Gardendale student charged with making terrorist threat

From staff reports
North Jefferson News

GARDENDALE — The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has obtained a juvenile petition formally charging a Gardendale High School student with making a terrorist threat.

Gardendale High School principal Jeff Caufield released a Schoolcast statement that no students at the school were ever in immediate danger.

"We responded swiftly and appropriately, and there was never a point in which any student or teacher was in danger," Caufield said. "Proper steps were taken to eliminate any reason for concern. The safety of our students is a top priority, and we will always take every measure possible to ensure that."

The Sheriff's Office began investigating the 15-year-old student, who has not been named, on Tuesday after the parent of another student reported to school administrators that the suspect had a list of people he wanted to shoot.

School administrators alerted the Sheriff's Office School Resource Officer (SRO) Division that a student had made threats to students that he had a list of people he was going to shoot when he “went off and shot up the school.”

The student reportedly told other students they were on his list of people to shoot.

An SRO deputy located three students who the suspect reportedly told they were on his "shoot them" list. No actual list has been located as of yet.

The suspect, who says he was joking, was removed from school. Administrators are not releasing his name.

The sheriff's office gained consent to search the suspect's computer and has confiscated it to look for any credible threats or lists involved with this incident.

The student doesn't appear to have access to any firearms.

His family has admitted him to an area hospital for a mental evaluation.

A terrorist threat report was made and charges will be filed through family court.

The school administration will take action on the student’s status.

Note: The 3:18 p.m. update contains a statement from GHS principal Jeff Caufield.