Prosecutors: Harrison Boy Planned ‘Political’ Shooting

By Beacon Staff

BOZEMAN – A 14-year-old boy accused of bringing two handguns to a Montana high school told authorities he wanted to show people “you don’t need an assault rifle to shoot up a school,” prosecutors said in court filings.

The documents say the boy, who is not being named because he is a minor, was considering using the guns in a shooting at Harrison High School “for political reasons,” KTVM-TV reported.

“(He) stated that he wanted to prove to people that you don’t need an assault rifle to shoot up a school,” the documents say. “(He) was going to show people that it could be done with a couple of handguns.”

President Barack Obama and several Democratic members of Congress are proposing stricter gun-control measures in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting in which 20 children and six adults were killed. Among the measures being proposed are an assault weapons ban and a limit on the size of ammunition magazines.

The boy showed two students the guns on Jan. 25 at the high school about 45 miles west of Bozeman. One of them told school officials, Harrison Public School Superintendent Fred Hofman said.

The boy was arrested after officials found a .357 Magnum, a .22 caliber handgun and 47 rounds of ammunition in the boy’s backpack. The television station reported the boy allegedly stole the guns from his father.

The witness reportedly said in her statement the boy threatened to kill her if she told a teacher what she’d seen.

“It took a lot of courage on her part to come forward with the information and I’m very glad she did,” Hofman said.

The boy had a detention hearing Monday in Virginia City before Youth Court Judge Loren Tucker. The judge entered a plea of “not true” to a criminal endangerment charge.

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