Wewa Elementary student charged with writing bomb threat

A written threat discovered  at Wewahitchka Elementary School Wednesday morning resulted in the arrest of a 12-year-old student from the school, who is facing felony charges.

In a press release sent out Wednesday afternoon, the Gulf County Sheriff’s Office said investigators learned the written threat was presented to a teacher by a student. The threat read, “I am going to kill someone with this bomb.” The suspect was quickly identified and interviewed.

The suspect admitted to investigators that she wrote the note and took it to a teacher.

Subsequently, the student was placed under arrest and charged with one count of written threat to discharge an explosive device, a second-degree felony, and one count of interfering with a school function, a second-degree misdemeanor. The student is currently held and awaiting first appearance at the Bay Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

“I’m proud of the hard work of our law enforcement and school officials who worked together to bring this to a conclusion,” said Sheriff Mike Harrison. “We are committed to the safety of each student and staff member. We will continue to take each of these cases very seriously.”

Students were evacuated to the nearby high school around 11:20 a.m. Central, said Gulf District Schools Superintendent Jim Norton.

After the perpetrator confessed and the threat was resolved, the students returned to the elementary school to finish out the school day.

“Every time this happens with an elementary school, it can be hard to take it seriously, but you have to take it seriously,” Norton said.  “We always have to err on the side of caution, and with today’s threat, we felt we acted in the most prudent fashion.”

This is the third written threat to be discovered at the elementary school this academic year, with others being discovered in December and January.

“Having to deal with this situation through other threats, some we solved, others we didn’t, had given us real world experience,” Norton said. “Today, I think that our faculty and staff as well as Gulf County law enforcement, acted in an absolute commendable fashion to the safe resolve of this threat.”

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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