Richland student arrested after threatening to shoot school

A Richland High student is behind bars after telling 10 classmates about a school shooting plan.

The teen was in an online chat group with other students when the threat was made, according to Richland police and high school Principal Tim Praino.

Students contacted school administrators late Tuesday, who called police as well as starting their own investigation.

“The investigation revealed other threats the identified student made against the school on their social media,” Praino said in his letter to parents.

Administrators and police asked the teen’s parents to bring him in Wednesday morning. After the meeting, the teen was emergency expelled from attending school and arrested by police.

Police booked the teen into the Benton-Franklin Juvenile Detention Center in Kennewick for felony harassment and intimidating a student by threatening violence.

A police mental health professional was put in contact with the student’s family to offer help.

Police do not believe the student could carry out the threat.

Police and Praino thanked the students who came forward.

“Richland police and the Richland School District want to encourage anyone who hears of a threat or safety concern against our schools to report it, even if they think the threat may be a joke or a hoax,” police said.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.