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Police, school investigate after Detroit Lakes student's alleged shooting threat

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - Parents here got a mass message from the school district Tuesday afternoon regarding a threat to the high school, but police say they don't think students were in danger.

Detroit Lakes High School
FILE – The exterior of Detroit Lakes High School. Forum News Service

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Parents here got a mass message from the school district Tuesday afternoon regarding a threat to the high school, but police say they don’t think students were in danger.

Concern began to rise when a Detroit Lakes student at the high school reportedly made comments to other students about “shooting up the high school” at an upcoming event. He allegedly made comments that because it’s “Variety Day” on Dec. 22, everybody would be in the gymnasium, making it a good time for a shooting.

According to police, these comments were overheard by a couple of other students, who then reported it.

Officers then responded to the situation, questioning students and the student who they say made the comments.

Details of the situation were shared on social media, which had many parents concerned that the threat was not being taken seriously enough.

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But Detroit Lakes police investigator Robert Strand said the student in question is autistic and likely didn’t understand the gravity of what he was saying, or the consequences.

“If we thought for a second that students were in danger from this, you can bet we’d be taking a whole different approach,” Strand said.

Regardless, officers will be amping up their presence at the high school next week, Strand said. He also indicated that the student has no access to guns and is not able to have a driver’s license. The teen in question is not facing criminal charges.

Superintendent Doug Froke’s mass message indicated school officials take potential safety issues seriously and are working with local law enforcement to investigate the situation.

The student, who police say is relatively new to Detroit Lakes, has been taken out of school until officials can determine what kind of supportive services he needs and whether Detroit Lakes is able to provide them.

Related Topics: CRIMEDETROIT LAKES
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