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14-year-old Philipsburg student arrested for threatening to shoot classmates

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PHILIPSBURG- A 14-year-old boy is incarcerated in a youth detention facility after Granite County authorities learned of his threatening behavior to other students.

According to court documents, the youth attends school in Philipsburg. Classmates said that on Feb. 20, the class was watching a video on the deadly Florida school shooting when the boy said he “would win in an Olympic school shooting.”

Charging documents state that the boy “told these classmates he had access to a family member’s guns. The youth further stated that he was going to get a trench coat and ‘shoot the school.’… Later in the day, the youth got on a table he said for a ‘better view’ and then made shooting motions with his hand as he was pointing at students in the lobby.”

Classmates told police that prior to this, the boy frequently stated that he wanted to “break people’s necks.” He allegedly also liked to point his finger at his head and act like he was shooting himself.

The boy is also accused of previously hitting two female students and coming up behind several classmates and using his hand to to act like he was slitting their throats. His classmates said they felt unsafe and uncomfortable after experiencing his behavior.

The boy’s charges include felony intimidation and three counts of assault.

He was arrested Feb. 21 and is being held at the Cascade County Regional Youth Detention Center. The court documents also say that he meets the criteria for “shelter care” to address his family life and prevent repetition of troubling behavior.

Philipsburg Public Schools Superintendent Mike Cutler issued a statement on the incident Wednesday evening:

Today, we became aware of potentially threatening statements by a student and notified law enforcement immediately. Law enforcement began an investigation regarding the statements, and we allowed law enforcement to take the lead on the investigation and they removed the student from school. At no time did we believe any student or staff member was in danger. We take every situation seriously and will act to notify law enforcement as soon we become aware of any potential threats. We will update parents as soon as we can about issues impacting the school environment. However, we want to ensure that we provide factual information to parents.

On Feb. 20, Ravalli County authorities charged an 18-year-old Darby High School senior with felony intimidation and assault for allegedly making multiple threatening statements to classmates.

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