EL PASO, Texas - The 14-year-old boy who police say made mock bombs and threatened to blow up Santa Teresa Middle School Wednesday is an 8th grade special needs student, said Gadsden District Spokesman Luis Villalobos.
The student was in a special needs class working on a writing assignment when he allegedly wrote he was going to blow up the school on a specific date towards the end of the school year, Villalobos said. The teacher immediately notified an administrator who called authorities.
"The comments he said reinforced a detective's opinion this was a legitimate terrorist threat," Villalobos said, "We do have, on occasion, students make bullying comments. They write mean comments or say mean comments to another student. But this student, unfortunately, was too specific and too detailed.
The Sunland Park Police Department told ABC-7 officers learned the child had made mock bombs and wanted to locate explosives to complete the task.
Authorities say the boy told them if he could not locate explosives to blow up the school, he would "shoot it up." "He said he was familiar with them, he knew how to use them, he knew what ammunition was needed and that was the scary part, when you have a kid who knows how to use that weapon willing to describe how he's going to use it," said Sunland Park Police Chief Jaime Reyes.
The boy is being held at the Dona Ana County Detention Center on a fourth degree felony charge. Police say all weapons were removed from the child's home.
Villalobos told ABC-7 the school has received complaints from parents asking why a note was not sent home notifying them about the incident.
He said a meeting will be held at Santa Teresa Middle School on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. for anyone with concerns.