UPDATED STORY, SATURDAY 8:30 AM
Friday was ordinary at Luther Public Schools. While there was increased police presence, it was business as usual with the addition of students honoring our Veterans with an assembly.
Under the surface, the Luther Police Department continued working the case of a student who allegedly authored a hit list against fellow students at the school and was expelled this week.
Police Chief David Randall refuted rumors that the student was “missing.” Just before 4 pm on Friday, he said the boy’s whereabouts are known, and charges are possible. Randall also confirmed that he is in contact with the district attorney’s office on the matter.
There is a law against hit lists in Oklahoma. Oklahoma Statute Title 21-1378, “attempting, conspiring or endeavoring to perform act of violence involving serious bodily harm or death – threats – devising plan, scheme or program of action to cause serious bodily harm or death.
Randall said he wants to avoid mass panic and rumors. He said he is confident there is no threat against the school or the community. Randall who took over as police chief on October 30, said his department is handling the investigation.
After television news reports aired in the evening stating the student was missing, LPD Public Information Officer Tony Walker confirmed to The Luther Register the boy’s whereabouts are known.
“Yes I saw the news post. I did an interview with 5 and 9 this morning when we were actively looking for the juvenile. He is still not in custody. We do know where he is. But at this point, he can not be taken into custody without an arrest warrant because the school waited so long to contact us. If the school had called us on Wednesday this would be a different situation. The school will not release the lockdown until he is in custody”
The department is in the process of interviewing parents and others affected by the incident.
The list was discovered Wednesday and a source says he was going to “shoot and kill people on his shit list.”
No word from school administrators on Friday about the incident. Some parents used social media to express anger they were not notified of the threat while the school was on lockdown.
However, others defended the school emphasizing that the safety of all students is a priority in such situations. The incident also has fired up a conversation about school bullying, and community groups and a Bright Tomorrow Counseling service is gearing up to address the issue through some community events and awareness activities.
Social media was also the place to read about wild rumors, some of which were untrue as The Luther Register verified with authorities.
No doubt there is an opportunity to address the policy and make revisions. School Board member Tony Rumpl commented that constructive input is welcome. As in all situations, communication is always vital.
The weekend is expected to go on as normal. The high school football team plays a playoff game at home at 7:30 pm, and the school board meets Monday night for its monthly meeting at 7 pm.