In Connecticut, two students were arrested for making threats while wearing Columbine costumes for Halloween. It was an immediate threat perceived as dangerous to Litchfield High School after sophomores from the school scared several people.
The students arrested for the Columbine costumes were making threats of “bodily harm” to other students, according to NBC Connecticut. School officials alerted Litchfield police to the incident and authorities acted quickly, taking such threats very seriously.
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“The costume was essentially black trench coats, baseball caps, and sunglasses,” Litchfield Superintendent Lynn K. McMullin said. “This is the times we’re living in, and we would be inhuman if it didn’t put us on edge.”
David Moraghan is representing one of the students and told the New York Times that the incident happened on the town green and a gathering of students walked up to the teens saying that they looked like the Columbine High School shooters. Someone then said, “I bet you’re going to shoot up the school.”
A hint of sarcasm was detected by the suspects’ response and the conversation ended, Moraghan said. He said the students wearing the Columbine costumes were arrested after one girl told her parents about the incident, which resulted in police involvement at that point.
State police say troopers from the Troop L barracks in Litchfield responded to McMullin’s call about a “threat of a possible hostile event” happening at the high school November 2. School staff learned of the Columbine costumes fiasco from “people concerned about safety,” state police said.
In an investigation conducted by police, they identified the two sophomores as suspects. After police interviewed witnesses and the two students for wearing the costumes and making “threats of bodily harm to other students at Litchfield High School,” the students were then arrested and charged with inciting injury to persons or property and breach of peace. The suspects were taken into custody on November 4 and transported to juvenile detention.
McMullin later emphasized the importance of safety at district schools in a letter to the high school community.
“Throughout the past three days, the state police and the district have remained in close contact as their full investigation took place. At every stage of the investigation, we were reassured by the troopers that there was no evidence of any credible threat that would necessitate any change in our regular daily practices. Nevertheless, at every stage, we took the matter very seriously.”
The school added that there was never a credible threat even though the students were arrested for making threats while wearing the imposing Columbine Halloween costumes. A spokesperson for the superintendent said that the school district is attempting to get the students expelled from school.
State Police did a home search of the students’ homes, but they didn’t reveal if there was anything found. Moraghan said that “nothing was found in either boy’s home that could in any way give credence to what they claim the boys were going to do.”
The boys aren’t facing any weapons charges.
Neither one of the suspects who made threats have been identified due to the fact that they’re juveniles.
Litchfield is less than an hour from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, where a separate shooting massacre occurred in 2012. Any threats against students is taken especially seriously there.
The real Columbine High School shooters captured on surveillance video on April 20, 1999.
The Columbine High School shooting happened in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20, 1999 in which 13 people were shot dead by two seniors. Several others were injured in the tragedy. The shooters took their own lives before police arrived at the scene.
Students arrested in Connecticut for their threats while wearing the Columbine costumes was an unsettling experience for everyone involved.
[Photo Credit: Litchfieldschools.org]