Weekly Feature

2018-03-14 / Front Page

NT students charged with making terrorist threats


After a two-day investigation, three City of North Tonawanda students were charged with making terrorist threats — a class D felony.

The male students, ages 16, 15 and 14, were allegedly discussing how they would carry out an attack on the high school when they were overheard by another student on the school bus and the parents of that student notified North Tonawanda police.

“We take every one of these situations seriously,” said Detective Capt. Thomas Krantz.

In a similar situation, he recommends that a person come forward and notify somebody that’s going to get information to police immediately.

According to North Tonawanda police, all three boys involved incorporated themselves into the scenario and had specific roles as to who would do what, including pulling a fire alarm in which one of the boys would exit the school with other students and then start shooting them.

Police said the scenario reportedly included the other two students who would be outside of the school at different ends and shoot the students and staff as they exited the building.

All three students admitted to making statements about how they would carry out an attack on the school, authorities said.

North Tonawanda police received the report at 3:41 p.m. on Feb. 28 of the three students who were allegedly making threats about shooting students and faculty at North Tonawanda High School.

According to police, a 16-year-old boy was charged as an adult on March 1 and was arraigned on March 2 after spending the night in North Tonawanda jail. He was then released after arraignment to his parents for pretrial services with Niagara County Probation.

A 14-year-old and 15-year-old were charged with the same offense. But because of their age they were petitioned to Niagara County Probation for intake services, police said.

All three stated that they had no intent of carrying out their plans and further stated it was a “what if” scenario.

The boys’ parents cooperated with the investigation and allowed detectives to search the boys’ rooms. According to police, nothing was found to indicate they had any advance planning or access to any firearms.

All three have been suspended from school pending a superintendent’s hearing.

According to police, terrorist threats basically mean that an individual intends to intimidate a civilian population by threatening to commit a class A felony and thereby causes a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent commission of such offence.

The class A felony was murder in this case. The statute also states that it’s not a defense that the individual did not have the intent or capability of committing the offense.

Since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, North Tonawanda police have investigated approximately 10 calls of threats against the schools of North Tonawanda.

On March 7, another 15-year-old boy was charged with falsely reporting an incident in the third degree and was petitioned to Niagara County probation for intake services.

The charge stemmed from the boy allegedly stating that he wanted to kill other students while in a classroom; however, he didn’t threaten to do so.

According to police, falsely reporting an incident basically means that an individual reports an incident that he or she knows to be baseless of an alleged occurrence in which it is not unlikely that public alarm or inconvenience will result.

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