Police: South Western student threatened to 'shoot up the school'

Written by Kaitlin Greenockle/The Hanover Evening Sun | Feb 20, 2018 6:58 PM

(Undated) -- A South Western High School student allegedly made threats of shooting up the school and making explosives last week. 

Ethan Michael Wilson, 18, of the 800 block of West Alvin Street, Penn Township, was charged after school administration informed Penn Township Police that another student heard Wilson make threats during the school day, according to an affidavit filed with District Judge Jeffery Sneeringer.

South Western School District Superintendent Jay Burkhart notified the community about the threat Feb. 16, saying that at no time did the threat jeopardize the safety and security of students. 

At about 10 a.m. Feb. 16, administration made the call to police after they were informed that Wilson was talking about shooting up the school and making explosives in his basement during a class on Feb. 15, the affidavit states.

Wilson also allegedly said that he would put explosives in the lobby to block it. He also said to students, "Why do you think I want to shoot up the school?" police said in the affidavit.

Assistant Principal Ryan Melhorn provided a written statement from Wilson to police, which stated that he did make comments about guns, a pressure cooker and that he has a ski-mask, the affidavit states.

Police spoke with Wilson at the police station around 11:20 a.m. Feb. 16, and he told police that he talked about shooting people and making pressure bombs during class, according to the affidavit.

"Our investigation revealed no evidence that he was constructing a pressure cooker explosive at his residence," Penn Township Police Chief James Laughlin said. 

Burkhart declined to comment on whether Wilson is currently a student at the high school.

Wilson had unsecured bail set for $10,000 and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 2, according to online court documents.

His attorney information is not yet listed. 

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The Hanover Evening Sun. 

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