UPDATE: Student who allegedly issued threat at high school placed in custody
Authorities have placed a 15-year-old student into custody, after reports that the student issued a threat against a southeast Nebraska high school.
Johnson County Attorney Rick Smith told Channel 8 Eyewitness News the student was taken into custody by the Johnson County Sheriff's Office pending a hearing.
Authorities began investigating allegations that the student, who is enrolled at Sterling Public Schools, had threatened a shooting at Sterling High School last month.
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office told Channel 8 Eyewitness News on Wednesday that their office was made aware of the alleged threat by parents Tuesday night, and that the district had not reported it prior.
Smith said Thursday that school and law enforcement officials had investigated the matter, but more information came forward that the district was not aware of previously. He said reports that the school was not cooperating in the investigation were incorrect.
Channel 8 Eyewitness News spoke to Isabella Cambron, a sophomore at Sterling High School, who said the student - whose identity is not being released - threatened her directly.
"He said that if he were to shoot up the school I would be his first target, then started telling people around him that he said it and then he had something on his notebook and he was showing other people," Cambron said.
The Johnson County Sheriff's Office told Channel 8 Eyewitness News that a 'hit list' of students and teachers had been discovered, and that the department felt there were major "red flags" they were concerned about.
Cambron said after the alleged threat was issued, she immediately went to school officials.
Cambron said she didn't tell anyone about what happened, including her parents, because she was scared. Her parent's say they found out about last month's incident Tuesday and were appalled.
"You hear on the news all the time if you see anything if you hear anything, do something, say something, talk to someone. Isabella did what she was supposed to do. the school dropped the ball and did nothing," Susan McKerney, Isabella's grandmother, said.
It says the school has been aware of the rumors for several weeks and investigated the situation and found that "rumors were not factual."
The statement then reads, "Over the next several weeks, the rumors persisted, which resulted in additional investigation by the school district and local law enforcement. Out of an abundance of caution, school officials also reached out to the Nebraska Department of Education’s State Security to ensure that we have taken every step appropriate to keep our students safe. At this time, the district has not received any information that would lead us to conclude that a credible threat existed."
Smith said law enforcement and the school do not expect a disturbance at the school.