DAVISON (WJRT) (2/7/2020) - A former Davison Middle School student is behind bars after a jury convicted him of making repeated threats to shoot up the school's cafeteria in May 2019.
The seventh-grader, who was not identified because he is a juvenile, talked daily about shooting up the cafeteria using a rifle and a pistol, according to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton. He even had a map of the room.
Police began investigating after several students filed complaints about the threats. Investigators found Instagram posts from the boy mentioning the "trenchcoat mafia," which commonly refers to the 1999 Columbine High School shooting suspects, Leyton said.
The boy's father allowed Davison police to search the family's home, where they found several rifles and pistols. Officers collected the firearms for safekeeping.
Leyton said the boy testified at trial that he never intended to carry out his threats and other kids misinterpreted his comments. But the prosecutor said that denial doesn't matter under the law.
“School shooting threats are no joke and will be dealt with seriously by my office,” Leyton said. “I have said it before: I am not going to second guess someone’s motives or intentions. If threats are made, we will take them at face value.”
He encouraged students and parents to report any threats or suspicious behavior to police or school officials right away.
“My message to students and parents is if you see something or hear something that could be a threat to others, speak up and alert school or law enforcement officials,” Leyton said.
The seventh-grader was suspended and later expelled from Davison Community Schools. He was sent to the Genesee Valley Regional Center juvenile detention facility while awaiting sentencing later this month.
The student was convicted of a felony charge making terrorism threats, which carries up to 20 years in prison.