Student threatens to bring gun to Patterson Mill High

A student who made threats about bringing a gun to school to shoot people two weeks ago told police he made the threat to get attention and he wasn't going to "really do it."

The student, a 14-year-old boy from Bel Air, told classmates at Patterson Mill High School "that he wanted to bring a gun in and shoot people in the school," according to a Harford County Sheriff's Office report on the incident reported Sept. 11.

The week before, two students – both boys, one in 10th grade and the other in 11th – saw another student sitting alone at lunch and invited him to sit and eat with them. The boy started talking about his home life and that he suffered from mental health issues, and that he wanted to shoot people in school, according to the report. He also said his dad had a .357 Magnum and his uncle had a 12-guage shotgun.

The students who invited the boy to sit with them reported the information to school personnel.

When police interviewed the student who made the threat, he admitted he said it, but that he had no intention of actually doing it, according to the report.

The boy also said he felt bullied in middle school last year, but that the situation was handled and had been over for some time. He said he didn't feel bullied this year.

The boy's mother said her son suffered from some personal issues dealing with abuse and isolation, and that there are no weapons in their home, which deputies verified during a search of the house.

The student is receiving regular counseling, said the mother, who added her son often seeks attention by "fabricating stories and making statements that will gain attention," according to the report.

Police determined there was no legitimate threat to students or staff at the school, but nevertheless took the necessary precautions in light of the student's threat. While Patterson Mill was never locked down, Capt. Keith Warner, a spokesman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office, said notifications were made to the appropriate people and "of course we're on the lookout in case anything did occur."

"More and more things like this happen," Warner said. "We can't let our guard down."

Teri Kranefeld, the spokesperson for Harford County Public Schools, was not available for comment.

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