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Juvenile arrested for threat to Collins High School

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Police say individual in custody, charged with terroristic threatening

By Todd Martin

A juvenile has been arrested and charged with making a threatening phone call that led to the evacuation and early end of the school day at Collins High School on Monday.

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In a press conference at Shelby County Public Schools on Tuesday afternoon, Maj. Jason Rice, a detective with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, said a juvenile was arrested at approximately 7:30 p.m. Monday and has been charged with terroristic threatening.

The name, age and gender of the suspect was withheld because he or she is a minor.

“We were able to gather information from students, staff and faculty at the school that led to some interviews,” he said. “This is a Class C felony that carries a five-year sentence for adults.”

The phone call was received at Collins just before noon, and the school’s resource officer, Ray White, contacted the sheriff’s office, said Chief Deputy Gene Witt.

“At that point fire and EMS services were contacted and by the time we arrived at the school the staff had it almost completely evacuated,” Witt said.

The sheriff’s office then contacted LouisvilleMetro Police for assistance with a bomb-sniffing dog.

“They sent four people and two dogs to help us clear the building,” Witt said. “Without the assistance we would have been there half the night.”

No explosive device was found.

While the school was being searched, officials for SCPS and the sheriff’s office decided to end the school day, and parents were alerted through the school district’s One-Call service that children could be picked up or bused home.

At that time a line of vehicles stretched from the entrance of the school’s parking lot down Discovery Blvd. and east up U.S. 60 to the traffic light at the intersection with KY 55.

Students spent a little more than an hour on the school’s football field while the situation was assessed.

Rice said it is too early to tell if the juvenile could be tried as an adult, and they declined to say if it was a student. However, he did say that the investigation remains open.

“We can’t really say much right now,” he said. “I can’t speculate [on the possibility of other arrests], but if anyone else is involved, we will look at charges. We are continuing to investigate.”

Collins, and the rest of the schools in the district, had started KPREP testing and end-of-course exams, including Advanced Placement tests, on Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon officials were still unsure what would happen to unfinished tests.

Superintendent James Neihof noted on Monday that several students had told him they would be very upset if they had to retake tests.

“We have reported the situation to the state, and we’re waiting for guidance on those students that had not finished tests,” said Kerry Whitehouse, assistant superintendent for operations. “Today’s [Tuesday’s] testing went off as planned.”

Whitehouse added that students were orderly and followed procedures this morning as if it was a normal day.