National Post

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Saturday, April 29, 2000

12-year-old girl charged with threatening to kill classmates
Jonathon Gatehouse
National Post

Police in Kitchener have charged a 12-year-old girl with uttering death threats after she said she would bring a gun to school and kill two of her classmates earlier this week.

The girl, whose name cannot be released under the Young Offenders Act, is a student at a Grade 5 to 8 school located in Conestogo, a small hamlet outside the city.

On Wednesday morning, she allegedly threatened two fellow students after an altercation. Police were immediately called in by school staff and, after a brief investigation, decided to arrest the girl.

"It's something we have to take seriously," Staff Sergeant Matt Torigian of the Waterloo Regional Police said yesterday.

In the wake of well-publicized school attacks, such as the shootings in Littleton, Colo., and Taber, Alta., and last week's stabbing incident in an Ottawa suburb that wounded four students and a staff member, no threat can be treated lightly, he said.

Staff Sgt. Torigian would not provide any details of the nature of the dispute that led to the threats, the sex of the victims, or whether the girl who has been charged has any previous involvement with the police.

He did, however, say that the girl did not have any weapons in her possession when she was arrested, nor do police believe she had access to a gun.

"It's our information that there were no weapons available," said Staff Sgt. Torigian.

The girl was released to the custody of her parents on Wednesday evening.

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