Frayed nerves thankfully is the worst of it in North Kitsap, Washington.
Two students and a parent took seriously another student’s stated desire to shoot up North Kitsap High School and called police, resulting in an arrest.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, Poulsbo Elementary School and Poulsbo Middle School were locked down for about a half-hour Wednesday after an elementary school staff member was threatened by phone.
Greg Brownlow, of Suquamish, said his son and a friend of his son told him another student had told them that he wanted to shoot up NKHS and that their two names were on his list of students he wanted to kill.
Brownlow said he told his son he needed “a BS assessment” and that the two boys said they thought the boy making the threat was telling the truth. Brownlow called the superintendent’s office at about 3:20 p.m., he said. When he didn’t get a return call by 4:30 p.m., he called 911.
“With all that’s been going on, I couldn’t take it as a joke,” Brownlow said.
Poulsbo police, working with officers from Bremerton police and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, arrested the teen at 11:38 p.m. Tuesday. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Kitsap Juvenile Court.
Poulsbo Police Chief Al Townsend said officers arrived Tuesday evening with a warrant. He said that the boy cooperated and that he didn’t have a written “kill list.” The boy did say he had a list in his head of people he didn’t like and he thought should be dead.
There were weapons in the house that belonged to the boy’s parents. “This guy had the means to carry out his threats. Whether they were real threats or not we really don’t know,” Townsend said.
The arrest comes on the heels of last week’s shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, where a student shot five other students, killing two of them, and killing himself.
In September, students at Kingston High School reported a former student, Matthew Allen Smiley, had made statements about attacking the school. Investigators in that case also determined Smiley had the means to carry out an attack. In the Kingston case, three juveniles also were found guilty of attempting to intimidate a witness and were sentenced to community service. An adult, Sebastian Carroll, was charged with harassment related to the case and remains in jail.
A week ago, Central Kitsap High School was locked down for about 25 minutes when a student reported that another minor had threatened to come to the campus with a gun.
Early Wednesday, North Kitsap Superintendent Patty Page sent a letter to parents saying the district is continually reviewing its safety procedures for each campus and reminded parents to tell their kids, “If you see something, say something.”
The lockdown at the middle school and elementary school came after an elementary school employee received a text from her estranged husband. The text threatened her life, Townsend said. She left campus and told someone on her way out that her estranged husband might be on the way to the school to kill her.
Townsend said the man had a history of domestic violence.
District officials locked down the schools at 11:40 a.m. Law enforcement located the man in his Suquamish home, and the schools were reopened at around 12:10 p.m.
Poulsbo police provided an increased presence Wednesday around NKHS in an effort to make sure students felt safe.