LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – A student is arrested after authorities discover he brought a firearm to Aquinas Schools and made a threat to “shoot up the school.”
President of Aquinas Catholic Schools Ted Knutson said in a letter to parents that on Monday, one of the staff got information that a high school student made a verbal threat and may have had a weapon.
Knutson said the school followed their protocol and contacted La Crosse Police. During their investigation, it was confirmed that the student brought a weapon on school grounds the previous Friday.
In a La Crosse Police report provided to WXOW, the investigation uncovered that the student made threats to shoot other school students. One of the students told a police investigator that the student told him “he was going to ‘shoot up the school’ and if he had any ammunition left over, he would ‘unload it'” on another student.
A La Crosse Police report provided to WXOW showed that the 16-year-old student was referred to La Crosse County Juvenile Justice on two charges. The first was for Possession of a Firearm on School Grounds with the second charge is Theft of a Firearm.
The handgun was stolen from a Houston, Minnesota home earlier this year according to police. The handgun was recovered at the student’s home according to the police report.
As a result of the investigation, Knutson said the student won’t be returning to the school.
Below is a copy of the letter sent to parents by Knutson.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
This letter is to inform you of the results of the La Crosse Police and school investigation of an incident that happened at Aquinas High/Middle School on Monday, April 15th. The investigation has been completed.
I wish to share with you that Mrs. Ring received information Monday afternoon that one of our high school students had made a verbal threat and may have had a weapon. We followed our school protocol and immediately called the La Crosse Police to help address this situation and assist with the investigation. Later, it was confirmed that he had a weapon on school grounds on the past Friday. The student involved will be subject to school policy and appropriate laws that govern weapons on school grounds and for making threats to school safety. The student will not be returning to Aquinas High School.
Thank you to the brave students, who had reported the suspicious behavior. They are to be commended. We encourage you to discuss this incident with your children. The school will also be discussing with students, the importance of reporting, treating others with respect, and what to do in different situations.
We will be evaluating our response to this incident and will be making some adjustments to our communication. I apologize if our earlier message was not as complete as desired but we wanted to allow for all the facts to be investigated by the police before we made public statements. Student safety is our top priority.
As always, please feel free to call or email with questions or concerns.