Hit list could mean charges for PWL girl
MINDEN – A 15-year-old Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School student is waiting to learn if charges will be filed against her over an alleged “hit list” and a threat to shoot classmates.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Lance Modispacher said a decision by the district attorney’s office could come at any time.
“Charges are being considered against the girl,” he said. Information is still being reviewed, but the school district has already imposed a 10-day suspension.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Al Del Vecchio said Monday the Gardnerville girl compiled a list of students she “hates” and “wanted to die.”
The Gardnerville girl threatened to bring a gun to school this week and shoot students, said Sheriff Ron Pierini.
A teacher’s name was also on the list, said Sgt. Stan Lamb.
The girl also allegedly asked another female student if she wanted anyone killed.
The “hit list” was compiled in response to an embarrassing incident involving the girl before Christmas, deputies said.
Pierini said a previous statement by school officials that the girl did not have access to guns is false.
While there were no guns and ammunition in her home, it is wrong to believe the girl could not have obtained a weapon to carry out her threat, Pierini said.
Deputies began an investigation into the charges March 21 after a male student overheard talk about the list and told his father, who notified the DCSO, Lamb said.
“Those people are to be commended,” he said. “They did the right thing.”
Pierini and Lamb said investigators will never know if the girl intended to make good on her threats.
“You have to treat every threat seriously,” Lamb said. “Every one is treated like it’s a real thing.”
It’s impossible to guarantee a school shooting will never happen in Douglas County, Lamb said, but the DCSO is committed to doing everything it can to prevent an incident.
Lamb said the parent who provided the anonymous tip gave the DCSO names of students involved in the alleged plot.
“We did our job because they put us in a position so we could,” Lamb said.
Deputies began the investigation immediately.
“It was a serious threat. It was a real threat,” Lamb said. “And we dealt with it.”
Deputies and District Attorney Scott Doyle worked until midnight Thursday on the incident, he said.
The “hit list” was allegedly entitled “Who’s Dead” and “Who I Hate.”
“It was revenge” that fueled the girl’s desire to write a list, Lamb said. “It was more hate and harm specific than mere frustration. It was not an over-reaction by students or parents.”
The girl also allegedly verbally threatened to come to the school this week and shoot students.
Lamb wants parents to know they should call the DCSO when they have a complaint or questions about a possible safety threat.
The sheriff’s office has more discretion to discuss incidents than school officials. Concerns about student privacy prevented school officials from discussing the incident, which frustrated parents last week.
The sheriff’s office does not want students and parents to have a “false sense of security” concerning violence in schools.
“You want them to be on their guard,” Lamb said. “It’s just as likely to be here as in Santee.”
Earlier this month, two students were killed and 13 were injured when a gunman opened fire in Santee’s Santana High School north of San Diego.
Lamb also wants Douglas County residents to know they can contact individual members of Douglas County’s Safe Schools Intervention Team with questions concerning possible suspicious activity.
The SSIT is a group of deputies responsible for investigating school threats.
Three deputies, including Del Vecchio, its manager, Deputy Phil Lesquereux, Deputy Teresa Duffy and Deputy Rick Koontz handle issues affecting Carson Valley schools. Deputy John Milby handles Whittell High School and Kingsbury Middle School issues.
Lamb said Douglas County’s Safe Schools Intervention Team program is emulated by other Nevada law enforcement agencies.
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