2 Berkley girls held over ‘hit list’ threat at school

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Berkley — Two Berkley middle school students allegedly created a “hit list” of 31 students and seven teachers to kill at their school and may have been partly inspired by the Columbine high school tragedy in Colorado, according to court documents.

The two girls — one 13 years old and another who turned 14 this month — are in custody. They were questioned May 22 and told Anderson Middle School authorities they were “joking around” about detailed plans that were found in one girl’s notebook and turned in to the school’s principal by another student.

Police and school officials have been tight-lipped regarding the threats but Oakland County Circuit Court records offer some insight into the girls’ alleged plan to conduct a school shooting at the school “in the near future.” A complaint and request for action under juvenile delinquency proceedings was signed by Berkley Detective Sgt. Andrew Hadfield, who could not be reached for comment Friday.

“... The plan detailed a map of the gym, awaiting for the students to be at an assembly and also bringing in small guns in backpacks while trying to overtake the office and staff, and then taking out the people who have wronged them,” Hadfield’s petition reads.

“Both admitted to knowing this plan,” the petition continues, adding that one of the girls developed most of the details and “had spoken (with the other girl) about obtaining weapons from her dad, had watched Columbine videos on YouTube recently.”

In April 1999, two students went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Colorado, fatally shooting 12 students and one teacher. They injured 21 other people, including three trying to flee the building. The two teens responsible then killed themselves.

“(She) thought this would be a good way to deal with the kids bothering her,” the circuit court petition reads. “She initially said it was a joke but had gone (through) a lot of planning.”

The girls, neither with prior offenses, are held in Children’s Village without bail pending a June 8 pretrial hearing before Judge Cheryl Matthews. Both girls are being prosecuted as juveniles with threatening to commit an act of terrorism and making a false report to another person.

The charges are felonies that carry up to 20 years in prison for adult convicts; if convicted as juveniles, the girls could be held in a juvenile facility up to their 19th birthdays.

The Columbine tragedy has been credited with sparking debate over gun laws, school security and other measures.

It has also frequently been cited by other teenagers, including in Oakland County, in threats made toward classmates.

A Highland Township boy, who recently turned 15, is in Children’s Village for mental health treatment and counseling after making Internet threats to “kill everyone” at Milford High School in a Columbine-type incident. The boy, who told investigators he was depressed over a recent girlfriend, pleaded no contest to making a false threat of terrorism and is expected to be held in custody for six to nine months.

In a third Oakland County school threat incident, a 17-year-old Brandon High senior entered a no contest plea and received a 93-day jail sentence, three years probation, fined $6,000 in restitution and other conditions.


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