An 11-year-old school pupil faces charges of attempted
assault and other crimes after taking a handgun, some 400
bullets, and several kitchen knives to his middle school in
southern Washington state, police say.
The boy brought a semi-automatic .22 calibre handgun and the
other weapons from his house on Wednesday (local time), with
the intent of attacking another pupil at the Frontier Middle
School in Vancouver, Washington, said Kim Kapp, a Vancouver
Police Department spokeswoman.
"He told officers he had heard a voice in his head telling
him to shoot another student," said Kapp. "Fortunately,
everything was found very early into this situation."
The school, about 32km from Portland, Oregon, was put on
lockdown for roughly two hours and there were no injuries,
Police arrested the boy and booked him for attempted murder,
unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a weapon
at school, according to the arresting officer's declaration
of probable cause.
The boy appeared in juvenile court on Thursday morning, and
the attempted murder charge was dropped. He is being held in
a juvenile detention facility.
He told police the voices told him to shoot another pupil in
the arm for calling one of his friends "gay" and then shoot
himself in the head, according to court documents.
His arrest came after a string of violent incidents in US
schools, including two this week, which have reignited a
national debate over gun control.
A 14-year-old boy pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to killing
a math teacher, whose body was discovered in the woods behind
his high school in the Boston area.
And, on Monday, a student armed with a semi-automatic handgun
killed a math teacher and wounded two classmates before
killing himself at his Nevada middle school.
In February, two fifth-grade boys were arrested after
bringing a knife and gun to school in an alleged murder-rape
plot that also targeted other children in eastern Washington
In the Vancouver incident on Wednesday, one of the boy's
parents notified the school that they were missing several
School officials found the knives in the student's backpack
along with the bulk of the ammunition and alerted police.
Police then found the unloaded firearm and two loaded .22
calibre magazines in the boy's pockets.
"As far as we know, the school was unaware of the gun until
police got there," Kapp said.