Sus­pected gun­man sus­pended for threats

The Dallas Morning News - - Nation -

ROCKFORD, Wash. — A Washington state stu­dent ac­cused of a deadly school shoot­ing had been sus­pended for bring­ing threat­en­ing notes to school shortly be­fore the at­tack.

Freeman School District Su­per­in­ten­dent Randy Rus­sell tells The Spokesman-Re­view that the district fol­lowed pro­to­col by sus­pend­ing the stu­dent and send­ing him for a men­tal eval­u­a­tion.

The shoot­ing oc­curred on the first day 15-year-old Caleb Sharpe re­turned from the sus­pen­sion to Freeman High School in Rockford, the news­pa­per re­ported.

Court doc­u­ments say he pulled an as­sault weapon from a bag, but it jammed.

Po­lice say Sharpe pulled a pis­tol from his coat and shot and killed a 15-year-old boy, and wounded three fe­male stu­dents.

Sharpe was ar­rested and has yet to make an ap­pear­ance in ju­ve­nile court. He faces a charge of first-de­gree mur­der.

Af­ter the shoot­ing, some stu­dents told The Spokesman-Re­view that Sharpe had passed notes to his friends warn­ing them that he planned to do “some­thing stupid.” One of the notes was then re­port­edly passed on to a school coun­selor.

Rus­sell said Fri­day that fed­eral law bars him from dis­cussing de­tails about any spe­cific stu­dent. But when asked if a school of­fi­cial had con­tacted Sharpe’s par­ents about the notes, sus­pended Sharpe and sent him for a men­tal eval­u­a­tion, the su­per­in­ten­dent said, “that’s what our pro­to­col looks like, and we fol­lowed it to a T.”

Rus­sell ac­knowl­edged that the sys­tem has some lim­i­ta­tions.

“It’s very frus­trat­ing, be­cause as an ed­u­ca­tor, you have to be able to work and rely on out­side agen­cies to pro­vide sup­port,” he said.

He said staff would be work­ing all week­end to pre­pare Freeman High School to re­open on Mon­day. He said par­ents were en­cour­aged to ac­com­pany their kids back to the school, and to spend as much time as they would like with the stu­dents.

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