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OAK CLIFF (CBSDFW.COM) – At Trinity Basin Preparatory in North Oak Cliff, the chill in the air Friday couldn’t all be blamed on the weather. A 12-year-old student is now in the custody of juvenile authorities after threatening to shoot up the school. He was arrested on Thursday after bringing a detailed plan to school of how he intended to carry out his threat—and even solicited a classmate’s help.
“I really didn’t want to drop my grandson off at school,” said Jane Ojeda. Ojeda learned of the threat from media reports. Other parents arrived at school Friday still wondering.
“I need to know what’s going on in this school,” insisted Leslie Soto, “because if there’s something going on that I’m not aware of, nobody informed me, then I need to take my child back home!”
School officials began notifying parents this morning. A bulletin immediately popped up on the school website. The letter explained that the student is in custody and will not return to the campus.
“The threat was very serious and we take that seriously,” says Trinity Basin’s Superintendent and CEO Randy Shaffer. But, of all the things that could have happened… certainly this is less tragic than some other things and we’re very, very thankful for that.”
The student was not armed when he was arrested. Still, police charged him with a third degree felony under section 37.125 of the Education Code which states that an offense is committed if “…the person intentionally exhibits, uses or threatens to exhibit or use a firearm, in or on any property… that is owned by a private or public school.”
Still, former prosecutor turned defense attorney John Teakell said the suspect’s age complicates the case—and it is far from a slam dunk. “How serious was he about that, versus some boy-talk fantasy game they were playing.” Teakell said he can understand the school community’s fear—but, stressed that due process is still at play: and that means that the 12-year-old suspect could very well be released from custody while the case winds its way through the juvenile courts.
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