Alarms in boy's bedroom not enough to release him, judge decides

Alarms in boy's bedroom not enough to release him, judge decides
KATU Reporter Valerie Hurst (center) talks to the boy's lawyer, John Lutgens (right) on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. KATU photo.

VANCOUVER, Wash. - An 11-year-old boy who allegedly brought a handgun, 400 rounds of ammunition and multiple knives to school will remain in juvenile custody, a judge decided Friday.

The boy's lawyer had argued that the child could be released to his parents if alarms were put on the door and windows in his bedroom. The boy is facing an attempted assault charge.

"We want to address that and make that not an issue for the community to be worried about," the boy's lawyer, John Lutgens, explained. "And that's the only reason we suggested putting an alarm on the door that kind of circumvents the issues for the child leaving."

"He just wants to go home," Lutgens added. "And I think that's the natural reaction of an 11-year-old."

The judge decided to keep him custody, though. Another hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Despite stating that the boy has "severe mental issues," the doctor said she considers him low risk when he is not near the people who triggered him. However, the state considers the boy a high risk. Lutgens said the boy has had counseling in the past, but he was not sure for what.

We learned in court that the boy sometimes gets up in the middle of the night and walks outside. Police have had to bring him home in the past.

The boy was taken into police custody on Wednesday after his mother called Frontier Middle School and told them she was worried her son had brought knives to school.

School officials immediately pulled the child into the principal's office and that's when they say they discovered the boy was carrying an unloaded .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun in one of his pants pockets and two loaded .22 caliber magazines in another pocket. More ammunition and the knives were found in the boy's backpack, police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.

According to police, the boy told officers that "a voice in his head" was telling him to kill a fellow student who had been bullying another boy and had been calling him gay. The boy said he had planned to shoot the 'bully' in the arm and then shoot himself in the head.

Lutgens said he has not talked to the boy's parents about their son's access to weapons. He said that is a discussion that will happen this weekend.

The family of the boy who was the intended targeted released a statement Friday, thanking the school for its quick response, hopeful the boy will learn from his actions and saying their son was not a bully, but instead the victim.

"We would also like to take this time and refute any misconceptions that our son was bullying any individual or that he was the catalyst for what transpired. Sadly our son was being called "gay" by the boy and took the appropriate steps to resolve the name calling by seeking help from school officials.  With that said--NO ONE could have predicted the events of Wednesday."