Student helps police foil school shooting plot in VT

Student helps police stop school shooting plan in Vermont

LYNDON, VT (WCAX/CNN) - Police in Vermont say a plan to shoot up a private high school has been foiled.

Lyndonville police detained the student as he got off the bus Friday, after Lyndon Institute officials alerted them a student showed signs he planned to shoot up the school Thursday.

It started when he wore an alarming Halloween costume to a school event.

"It was a large, like, desktop calendar, and it had a big red arrow on paper pointing to January 31st," said Lyndonville Police Chief Jack Harris. "He made the comment afterward that it's a date that Lyndon Institute will never forget."

Harris says the student was involved in a number of incidents indicating he was having these disturbing thoughts. The school treated each incident separately, not putting the pieces together until suspicions arose earlier this month.

"Somewhere around January 18th, a student actually pointed out that it appeared to them that he was planning some type of shooting incident," Harris said.

The school says it didn't act immediately because officials did not believe the student was dangerous.

"There's a difference between a direct and imminent threat, which if we had that information, we would have immediately locked down the campus, but what we had was a concern," said T.J. Tanner, Lyndon Institute.

Police say when they searched the student's home in Concord on Friday, they did not find any guns, but that's because the boy's father had removed the weapons from the home the day before, when he became worried about his son's state of mind.

Now, the school says it's confident the threat is over.

"We've been receiving, obviously, several concerned messages from other parents and guardians," said Javin Leonard, Lyndon Institute. "We wouldn't be holding classes if we didn't feel the school was safe."

The school says it's prepared to keep the campus safe if a threat like this comes up again.

"We did put some protocols in place and other safety measures in place, but we feel that we can't let the public know what those protocols and safety measures were because we don't want to compromise those measures," Leonard said.

Police say they will be at the Lyndon Institute monitoring activities Thursday as a precaution, but they do not believe students will be in any danger that day.

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