Jonesboro Student’s Threats Prompt Mental Health Intervention, Not Criminal Charges

A Jonesboro Police Department patrol car. Photo by Stan Morris.

JONESBORO, Ark. – Jonesboro police responded to Nettleton Junior High School this week to investigate a student making threats at school.

Police were contacted at approximately 1:30 PM on Wednesday after a 13-year-old male student allegedly made threats to shoot some kids at school. According to the JPD police report, the student expressed boredom at school and mentioned wanting to bring a shotgun to shoot two or three people. He also discussed the challenge of getting the gun past metal detectors, suggesting he could find one small enough to fit in his binder and pass through undetected. The student did not specify any particular individuals he was angry at or intended harm toward.

Detective Brandon Butler responded to further investigate the incident. He spoke with the child and his mother, reading them their Miranda Rights, and they agreed to speak without an attorney present. The juvenile suspect admitted to making the statement but claimed it was intended as a joke. When asked about the potential consequences if someone acted on his words, he displayed apathy, stating he wouldn’t care if it wasn’t someone he liked. The mother informed the detective that no weapons were readily available in their home.

The report noted that the suspect seemed not to fully grasp the seriousness of the situation and exhibited some degree of mental deficiency.

After consulting with the juvenile department, the detective determined that criminal charges weren’t appropriate. Instead, a bed at a local mental health facility was reserved for the juvenile. He was taken to the hospital by a parent and, as per the report, will be transferred to Rivendell Behavior Health.

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