A middle school student in Vermont helped avert a possible school shooting after overhearing two classmates discussing bringing guns to campus, police say.
Investigators said a concerned parent from Middlebury Union Middle School called police on Saturday to inform them their child had expressed concern “over some conversation this student was privy to, where there was talk about using firearms to harm people in school.”
Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley told the Addison Independent on Tuesday that police and school officials immediately launched a probe into the allegation over the weekend.
“By early Monday, we had identified two people, one of whom had made a specific threat against a specific person in the school, with a date and time on when this was going to happen,” he told the newspaper.
He said the two 14-year-old students were planning to get guns from a relative and bring them to school on Tuesday.
“You had one juvenile making a very specific threat, another juvenile who was going to provide the guns for him to carry it out,” Hanley said. “There are relationship issues between all the people involved. We’re still getting through a lot of that.”
Prosecutors got an Extreme Risk Order and seized the guns from the relative's home and police got the Vermont Department for Children & Families involved.
Hanley said more than 10 weapons were confiscated from the home, largely consisting of hunting rifles and handguns. He told the Independent he doesn’t believe any semi-automatic assault rifles or shotguns were among the confiscated weapons.
The youth who allegedly wanted to do the shooting was placed in custody with DCF and is receiving mental health counseling, while the other who offered access to the weapons is awaiting possible punishment.
Their identities have not been revealed and they were indefinitely pulled from classes, the Independent reported.
Police said there is no longer a threat to the school, which serves students in grades 7 and 8 for several towns in the area.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.