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Details into arrest of Central High junior, who allegedly threatened to “shoot up the school”



More details in the arrest of a Central High School junior who’s alleged threats to kill people led to school closing for a day back in November.

On the night of Nov. 10, a threatening email was sent to a Central High teacher saying “I’m going to shoot up the school tomorrow (Nov. 11).” Another teacher received what police described as a “cryptic” message they said appeared threatening, as well.

The messages prompted officials to cancel school on Nov. 11.

This is one of six threats to local schools in the past month and a half — the latest Monday at Onalaska Middle School. Two of them have been deemed hoaxes.

On that morning, the Information Technology (IT) Department at Central forwarded police searches it found under a student’s account for, “What I need to kill people at school,” along with a document that was created around 3:30 p.m. Nov. 10, listing the following:

  • Pipe bomb/any bomb (will put notes later)
  • A gun (i have a rifle, but its bolt action, so it would reload slowly)
  • Ammo (i have 40 bolt action rifle rounds, .434 WIN, but how id get ammo for a different gun LET ALONE the gun itself i don’t know)
  • time/place (most likely midnight/when its dark, but i will need to hide from motion security system) Will add more later.

That document was trashed a few minutes after it was created, but it was recovered by IT.

While it appears from the redacted police reports that the messages were sent from one student’s account, police traced the IP address from those messages to the home of the junior, who was eventually arrested Nov. 12.

The reference to a bolt-action rifle in the trashed document comes into play during police’s interview with the junior and his family, because they do say they have a single-bolt-action rifle.

It was taken from the home and put into evidence, along with a “Taurus 9-mm,” though it is unclear where that handgun came from. It is not mentioned elsewhere in any of the documents released.

As police arrested the Central junior, the report says he “grabbed the wall and banged his head against it,” before his family embraced him and he was put into handcuffs and a squad car.

Under “probable cause” in the police report, it sums up the ordeal saying the boy gained access to another person’s account, “created panic and fear of a violent would be committed at school, which forced the school to close for a day.”

It adds the boy would be charged with Disorderly Conduct, Terrorist Threats and unauthorized use of an individual’s personal identifying information or documents.

Police confiscated multiple computer devices from phones to computers during the investigation.

Also noted, police said the boy that was arrested had, back in March, attempted to access the La Crosse School District servers and other technology. No charges were pursued.

When police released info of this arrest last month, they noted that person was 17 years old. His age, however, is not revealed in the reports released to WIZM. His name is not mentioned in this article because he is most likely that 17 year old and therefore a minor.

The investigation appears to be ongoing, though all the reports released are dated Nov. 10-12. There is some info about where some messages he allegedly sent originated. Police, last month, sent a subpoena, signed by La Crosse County Judge Ramona Gonzalez, for records to a company from where the out-of-state IP address was sent.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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