Lake Station student admits to compiling 'hit list'

2013-11-11T18:53:00Z 2013-11-12T22:00:03Z Lake Station student admits to compiling 'hit list'Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

LAKE STATION | An Edison High School freshman was removed from school after he admitted to compiling a "hit list" with names of fellow students and teachers, police said.

The 15-year-old Lake Station boy, who officials have declined to name, was suspended from school following the Oct. 24 incident.

It has been recommended the boy be expelled, said Dan DeHaven, Lake Station Community Schools superintendent.

"Letters will be going out to parents about the incident tonight," DeHaven said Monday morning.

Lake Station police were informed of the incident on Oct. 29 and have been identifying the students on the list and speaking to them and their parents, Police Chief Kevin Garber said.

Two students approached the school staff on Oct. 24 and said a fellow student had compiled a "hit list," with the names of 20 students and teachers, DeHaven said.

When the student who compiled the list was told he would be in trouble, he proceeded to cross out "hit list" and wrote "reward list," police said.

The witnesses to the list then took photos of the "hit list" with their cellphones and turned it over to the school administration.

The student, when questioned by school officials about the list, admitted he did have a list but had since thrown it in the garbage. The student was then removed from the school pending an investigation, police said.

Parents of the student have refused to allow him to speak to investigators and are obtaining legal counsel, police said.

The student and his family had moved to Lake Station from Merrillville and he had only been attending Edison since the beginning of the school year, DeHaven said.

The list included, in some cases, only first names of students so that it appeared he may not have known some of those on the list, DeHaven said. 

"I don't know his intentions but he couldn't have had a grudge against that many students," DeHaven said.

Garber said police do not know the boy's intentions for compiling the list but are treating it as a threat to those listed.

Tanya Bowen, whose daughter was one of the students listed on the "hit list," said she knew nothing of the incident until hearing from police on Thursday.

"School officials didn't let anyone know; they didn't notify anyone and they should have," Bowen said.

DeHaven said that in retrospect school officials should have notified parents sooner about the incident.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Police Sgt. Brian Williams at (219) 962-1186.

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