LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. — New details are emerging about a possible threat at a Limestone County High School.
The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday that a suspected student was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Officials say the student was trying to get a firearm to murder another student and first learned of the incident on Wednesday, December 1.
On Tuesday, News 19 spoke with two family members, and a family friend of the student alleged to have been targeted, along with a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson and a representative of the high school.
News 19 was told different accounts of what happened on Thursday at the school.
While the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office and Ardmore High School say a gun was not found on the suspected student during an on-campus search, family members say that Ardmore students saw the suspected student with a gun that same day.
Concerns from the alleged victim’s family are now emerging.
News 19 spoke with one member of the family who wishes to keep his name anonymous: “My concern was that Limestone County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t putting the whole story out.”
It all started Wednesday, December 1 when the Sheriff’s Office says it first learned of potential threats.
“The Sheriff’s Office was investigating another issue and they came across a text thread where some students had made — other students described it as an empty threat,” said Ardmore High School Principal Glenn Bryant. “Investigators got to research a little more… They sent the name of the students involved in the text thread. We interviewed them the next morning. We passed along that information to the investigators. Investigators then inquired further and discovered that there was enough information there.”
The Sheriff’s Office then charged the juvenile suspect with conspiracy to commit murder.
The discrepancy between officials and the alleged victim’s family: whether or not the suspected student had a firearm at school.
The Sheriff’s Office tells News 19 a gun was never found on the student, so does Principal Bryant.
“There was no weapon located with the student on campus,” he said. “We intercepted the student when he got off the bus, escorted him to the deputy’s office, and went through his belongings and he had nothing that could be construed as a weapon.”
The alleged victim’s family says otherwise: “All the kids in his ISS class said that they saw the gun in his backpack. That he actually had it at school. I’m just upset they didn’t report the story accurately and more upset that there’s nothing to keep this from happening again.”
The family wants metal detectors installed to protect against any future threats.
“I don’t want this to happen to another kid. I didn’t want this to happen to my kid.”
The alleged victim’s father says the student is distraught over the entire incident: “Before this happened, she was one of the happiest people like you cannot have a bad day around this girl. She will make you smile. I mean, she’s just a happy person like that. But since then, she does nothing but cry. She cries herself to sleep every night. She don’t want to talk to anybody. She don’t want to talk to a counselor.”
Principal Bryant says he will recommend an expulsion hearing for the suspected student to the Limestone County Superintendent and the school board. He adds that he wants the student to get the help he needs, but off the Ardmore High School campus.