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12-year-old boy charged with attempted murder, weapons charges in gun incident at local elementary school

May 23, 2019

SCOTTSBLUFF - A 12-year-old boy found to be in possession of a firearm at a Scottsbluff elementary school faces several charges, including attempted murder in the second-degree.

The child has been charged in a petition filed in Scotts Bluff County Court on charges of attempted second-degree murder; two counts of terroristic threats; two counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony; possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm on school grounds.

According to the complaint, the boy had engaged in contact which, under the circumstance as he believed them to be, constituted a substantial step in a course of conduct intended to culminate in his commission of a crime of causing the death” of another child “intentionally but without premeditation.” Two others were threatened by the child and the child allegedly had stolen the firearm, a 9mm Glock handgun, from his mother, according to the complaint.

The child was taken into custody on May 13 after police had been called regarding a trespassing at a residence near Lincoln Heights. The owner of the home, which is vacant, had made contact with the youth in the home and the boy went to the playground of a neighboring school, Scottsbluff Police Capt. Brian Wasson told the Star-Herald. When police made contact with the group of youth, they were told that the boy had a weapon and it was located on the ground of the playground. Wasson said the other children involved and cited in the complaint were ages 12 to 14.

The incident, which occurred after school hours, resulted in officials with the school issuing a letter to parents, reminding them to lock up any firearms that they may possess.

The alleged murder charge is alleged to have occurred on May 13, while the allegations of terroristic threats are reported to have occurred on May 12, according to the complaint.

An emergency hearing for juvenile detention was held on May 15, with the motion outlining that the hearing needed to be held as quickly as possible due to the child “engaging in aggressive criminal behavior.” The child, who had been facing other juvenile proceedings, had been placed into custody of District 12 probation following the May 13 incident and secure detention was continued after the May 15 hearing.

The boy had been scheduled to appear for his first appearance, similar to an arraignment, on the charges Wednesday afternoon in Scotts Bluff County Court.

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