The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

March 20, 2013

Update: 12-year-old in custody for New Prague school shooting hoax

NEW PRAGUE — A 12-year-old male student was behind a pair of prank calls leading law enforcement and school officials to believe a school shooting had occurred in New Prague early Wednesday morning.

The suspect, who was in custody not long after police responded, reportedly made a pair of calls from his cellphone within five minutes of each other saying a shooting had taken place at the middle school and that two people were hurt.

The call prompted law enforcement from all over the region to respond. The first officers on the scene searched the school but found no one hurt. Officers  also went to nearby Central Education Campus where they took the student into custody. Officials said that soon after the initial calls they had information that led them to the suspect.

At a news conference, police said no other students were involved. New Prague School Supt. Larry Kauzlarich said the schools received a threat call at about 8 a.m. Students in the building, which was put on lockdown, were notified classes would be canceled the rest of the day. Any students in the building were allowed to leave by 10:30 a.m. Bus drivers returning young students home checked to make sure a parent was home; otherwise the students were returned to school for pickup by their parents.

“There was never a time when your children were really in danger,” Kauzlarich said.

He said he couldn’t speculate on the potential punishment of the suspect, but he noted that another student had been expelled from school after he called in a bomb hoax about two months ago.

The police chief said he didn’t know what types of criminal charges may be sought.

Casey Hardy, an assistant county attorney in the Blue Earth County Attorney's office, who handles juvenile cases, said she doubted Scott County officials would bring the student into criminal court.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News