Cuero student arrested after threats against school

Sonny Long

Dec. 18, 2012 at 6:18 a.m.
Updated Dec. 19, 2012 at 6:19 a.m.

CUERO - A 16-year-old Cuero High School student was arrested Monday after threatening violence at the school.

The threats included bringing guns to school to kill people and bringing gasoline to school to blow it up, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the Cuero Police Department.

The threats came at two different times, both before the Connecticut school shooting Friday.

The first threat was made Nov. 19, when the student said he was tired of the school and was going to go on a shooting rampage, according to the news release.

This incident was handled through Cuero Police School Resource Officers, school administrators and school counselors.

The second threat, involving the gasoline, came Thursday.

Cuero Police Chief Jay Lewis said the decision to arrest the teenager had been made before knowing anything about the Connecticut shooting.

"If it had been a single outburst, it may not have been anything to be concerned about, but twice in less than 30 days," said Lewis. "We didn't feel it was just a verbal, angry outburst and didn't want to ignore it."

The high school junior was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center in Victoria, but because of a medical condition was released to his parents and placed under house arrest, said the police chief.

Cuero school district superintendent Jim Haley said the student will be dealt with when he returns to school.

"We will go through our disciplinary process to determine what consequences may or may not be appropriate," he said. "There are a wide range of options."

"We have to meet that student's needs and to provide whatever support and educational services that we need to for that student," Haley said.

Safety is a priority, said the superintendent.

"We must protect our campus and keep it safe and secure and deal with these threatening situations in a manner that will maintain that safety and security," he said. "We take them all seriously and handle them professionally.

"We want to believe - just like the Sandy Hook school did - that we are in the safest community in the U.S., but we all know that can change in an instant."

Haley said district administrators and campus principals were meeting Tuesday afternoon to review the district's safety plan.

"A safety audit is required every three years and ours was last done in the fall of 2011," Haley said. "It is current and updated. It is a living document. We can add additional measures as things come up.

"We certainly take it seriously and everyone is on their guard. Everyone wants to believe the best and hope for the best but prepare for the worst."

That "worst" might be evident in another statement attributed to the 16-year-old who was arrested.

"He made the statement that 'death is earned. It is a sin to live as an immortal being. Once your deed is done for which you are put on this Earth, you have earned your death.'" the police chief said.

"It's scary," Lewis said of the teen's statement.



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