Berrendo student threatens to shoot classmate

March 21, 2014 • Local News

Jill McLaughlin
Record Staff Writer

Berrendo Middle School staff and county sheriff’s deputies Thursday uncovered a student’s apparent plan to shoot a female classmate, possibly preventing another tragedy.

Chaves County deputies were called to the school at 2:40 p.m. by staff after a student alerted them to the threat, said Chief Deputy Britt Snyder.
“A note that was found seemed to be threatening a child and alluding to another school shooting,” Snyder said. “That particular student was kind of being threatened … so we followed up on the note, found out who wrote the note and found out what their motivation was.”
[auth] Deputies did not arrest the 12-year-old girl who is suspected of making the threat. She was sent home with her parents, but may face charges related to making a terroristic threat, Snyder said.

“There is a terroristic-threat type statute that might apply, especially in light of the school shooting we had,” Snyder said.
The school continues to heal following the early-morning shooting Jan. 14, when a 12-year-old boy opened fire inside the gymnasium using a shotgun. The boy seriously injured two classmates: an 11-year-old male and 13-year-old female.

In Thursday’s case, the note that was placed inside a locker alluded to a shooting that would take place in the near future.
“It was threatened, I believe, specifically for tomorrow or sometime in the future. Not right at that moment,” Snyder said. “That’s the kind of thing we need to stop these things from ever happening. If somebody knows something, they’ve got to tell somebody.”

Deputies were fortunate to find out how the note came to be in a few hours, Snyder said. They will follow up with the school today and will talk with the district attorney and juvenile probation to find out whether anyone will be charged.

School officials took immediate steps when they discovered the note.

“We’re telling them, you’ve got to take everything seriously. You can’t blow things off. The same goes for us,” Snyder said. “It’s important we work together on situations and try to sort out this as quickly and accurately as we can, what threat may exist.”
Roswell Independent School District Superintendent Tom Burris said staff acted appropriately.

“Any time we get any concern about any of our students, we react according to policy, and we’ve done that,” Burris said.
School will be open on schedule today.

“We’ve got everything handled,” Burris said.

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