Hearing for boy arrested in Minn. school lockdown

8:08 PM, Mar 20, 2013   |    comments
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NEW PRAGUE, Minn. - A hearing will be held this week for the 12-year-old Minnesota boy suspected of making a prank 911 call that prompted a school lockdown.

Attorney Marsh Halberg has been retained to represent the boy. Halberg says the boy remains in custody, and a juvenile detention hearing will be scheduled for Thursday or Friday.

The New Prague middle school, high school and Central Education Campus buildings were locked down Wednesday morning after a 911 caller said there was a shooter with an AK-47 and a couple of victims.

Authorities determined no one was hurt and arrested the boy. Classes were canceled for the rest of the day.

"We know when things happen like this there is a lot of anxiety on the part of parents and also students, and we thought it better to go home early," said Larry Kauzlarich, Superintendent of New Prague Schools. "We will resume school (Thursday) in our regular and normal times."

Halberg says the boy's parents want other parents to know no gun was involved and that it's safe for students to return to school.

Krystal Sierra frantically tried to call her daughter Amber, an 8th grader, who didn't answer her cell phone during the lockdown.

Sierra said she just moved her family from Colorado to escape violence she experienced in her former town.

"I came to right smack in the middle of nowhere, where it's freezing cold and the same stuff is still happening, so I guess none of us are immune to anything," said Sierra.

As for parents Jim and Melissa Triggs, they felt helpless knowing their sixth grade daughter was inside of the school.

"Just concerned what this world is coming to where kids can put out fear," Jim Triggs said. "You almost want to home school, keep them home."

"I was terrified. I am still trembling," said parent Janice Daniel. "I said I wouldn't be OK until I saw him, but yes, it was very scary."

School and community leaders were quick to say they took the threat seriously and that they would have been ready if it were more serious.

"We have every confidence that had this been a real event or had this escalated, everyone on every level would have been appropriately able to respond in the best interest of our children, of our patients, and of our community members," said Kevin Burns, of Mayo Clinic Health System public affairs.

"We have to take every (threat) seriously and treat these as a real incident which we did on this because we just don't know," Kauzlarich said.

The district also said there will be consequences for pranks like this.

"Hate to say it, but I hope it's something that students don't have to come accustomed to. We have had two in the last two months. We had a bomb threat that wasn't real and (that person) was apprehended at that time," Kauzlarich added.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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