An 11-year-old boy in Vancouver, Washington, was arrested for first-degree attempted assault this week, after he took a handgun to his school, along with 400 rounds of ammunition, saying he heard voices telling him to shoot another student for calling his friend “gay”.
The boy’s mother called school administrators after she discovered he may have taken kitchen knives to school, according to court documents released Thursday.
KCTV reports Vancouver police school resource officers arrested the boy at Frontier Middle School on Wednesday morning at 9am shortly after they received the phone call. They found a .22 caliber handgun along with 400 rounds of ammunition in his possession.
The court documents report school administrators told detectives the boy had said a voice in his head was telling him to kill a classmate for calling his friend “gay.”
The boy later told police in an interview he planned to shoot his classmate in the arm, and then shoot himself in the head.
He made his first court appearance on Thursday in Clark County, where his parents attended the hearing, but declined to speak with the media.
A written statement from the family said: “We noticed some items missing from our home. Immediately, we contacted the school to alert them of our concerns.
“We are at a loss for words and deeply saddened for the fear that these circumstances have caused,” the statement said. We are cooperating with law enforcement, school personnel and mental health officials to ensure our son gets the help he needs.”
Although he was initially arrested on a charge of attempted murder, the boy has now been held on charges of first-degree attempted assault, unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds.
Kim Kapp, a Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman, said: “He told officers he had heard a voice in his head telling him to shoot another student. Fortunately, everything was found very early into this situation.”
She added that the school was put into lockdown for roughly two hours.
Zaniah Matthews, a sixth-grader from the school told KCTV: “We got a message on the intercom that said we were in lock down. We were under the table for about an hour and then we could move around.”
The scare also caused the nearby Pioneer Elementary School to go into lockdown.
No one was hurt, and the schools were secured, school officials said. The classes at the two schools went on as planned Thursday, with letters sent home notifying pupils and teachers of the event.