Wayne County Prosecutor Worthy charges 5 more teens with school threats

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

 Reported school threats in the wake of the mass shooting last week at Oxford High School continued Tuesday, with police arresting two in connection with an incident in Harper Woods and five students facing charges in Wayne County.

The five students, ranging in age from 12 to 14, face juvenile charges, Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced Tuesday.

Along with seven other students charged by Worthy's office, a dozen children face legal trouble for alleged school threats in the week since the shooting at Oxford High School, which killed four teens and injured seven other people, including a teacher.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Detroit Police Chief James White held a press conference at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters to discuss a recent rash of school threats, including a social media threat that resulted in the closure of Henry Ford High School in Detroit. Worthy said Thursday she's charged 23 youths with school threats and is investigating 10 more cases.

More:Criminal cases over school threats pile up for Metro Detroit prosecutors

"School threats naturally put everyone on edge," Worthy said in a statement on Saturday, when announcing the first round of charges.

All five of the most-recent charges involving students are being prosecuted as juveniles, and if they are convicted, they would be sentenced as juveniles, Worthy said. All five had hearings Tuesday afternoon before Wayne County Juvenile Court Referee Leslie Graves. Worthy did not release their names.

They are:

  • A 12-year-old female student at Palmer Park Preparatory Academy in Detroit, who faces a charge of intentional threat to commit an act of violence against a school or school employees.
  • A 12-year-old male student at Strong Middle School in Melvindale, who faces the intentional threat charge, along with the malicious use of a telecommunications device. 
  • A 13-year-old male student at Casimir Pulaski Elementary/Middle School in Detroit is charged with making an intentional threat to commit an act of violence against a school or school employees. 
  • A 13-year-old male student at Brownell School in Grosse Pointe Farms is charged with both intentional threat and malicious use.
  • A 14-year-old male student at J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy in Wayne, who faces the intentional threat charge.

The previous seven suspects also are charged in juvenile court and range from 13-16 years old and hail from every region of Wayne County: city, suburbs, Downriver, western Wayne, and the Grosse Pointes, according to Worthy’s office.

One student allegedly threatened a Grosse Pointe Woods middle school. 

After the student was arrested allegedly for making the threat against Parcells Middle School, Grosse Pointe schools Superintendent Jon Dean explained that "... these threats appeared to be copycat-style threats intended to cause disruption or spark a response.

Three others allegedly threatened Detroit schools, including one directed at Mumford High School. Threats also were made against a Southgate middle school and Belleville High School.

A student was in possession of a weapon at a Detroit "upper academy" for fifth through eighth graders, Worthy's office said.

Monday morning, a social media threat to "shoot up" Crestwood High School in Dearborn Heights stoked students' fears that more violence could come. 

Meanwhile, Harper Woods police on Tuesday said two juvenile female students were linked to a threat targeting the city's high school. 

Staff received a phone call Monday from someone who told them "that everyone should exit the school because they were coming up and shooting," the Harper Woods Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

The employees obtained the phone number and immediately notified police, who determined the calls were made through a cell phone app, according to the release.

Detectives identified the address where the calls were made and on early Tuesday arrested two girls. 

Numerous threats in the wake of the Oxford shooting on Nov. 30 prompted many districts to close last week.


Staff Writer Mark Hicks contributed