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Police seize weapons following Montpelier school threat

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Authorities are investigating a potential threat to Montpelier High School that led police to seize guns and ammunition from a student’s home last week.

In a letter to the Montpelier Roxbury District, Superintendent Libby Bonesteel says a student and staff members came forward with information about a potential threat against Montpelier High School.

Police say they seized an AR-style .22 rifle, a hunting rifle, magazines, and ammunition from the student’s home after getting a temporary extreme risk protection order, under the state’s red flag law.

Police have not made any arrests but Montpelier Police Chief Brian Peete says that there is no threat to the public. “We are doing to everything we can in conjunction with the school, working with the partners to ensure the safety of our kids first and foremost,” he said.

School officials say that the student will not return to school this year and is cooperating with officials. They say they waited to release the information to protect those who came forward with the information.

Since January 2020, there have been 23 extreme risk protection orders issued in Vermont. Police say the FBI, ATF, and Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office are involved.

Montpelier Mayor Anne Watson, who also works at the high school, says she hopes the incident sends a message to lawmakers just down the street. “If any student feels that it is feasible to enact gun violence at a school, it’s an indication to me that we need stronger gun laws in Vermont,” she said.

Bonesteel and Watson say that the school district and the city have support services available.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and could be wrapped up in a few weeks.

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