Crime & Courts

New info from police on boys’ alleged plot to attack Haysville school

The Wichita Eagle

Potential victims of a plot to attack Haysville Middle School would have included students, faculty and administrators, the police officials said Wednesday.

During a phone interview with The Eagle, Haysville Police Chief Jeff Whitfield and Haysville police Lt. Kevin Sexton provided additional details about the case, including how it was reported:

Q: The ages of the four boys charged Monday with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder?

A: Three are 14; one is 13. All are eighth-graders, Sexton said.

The four are all students at Haysville Middle School; authorities arrested them last Thursday after social media posts indicated they were plotting to bomb the school and shoot people on school grounds, Whitfield had previously said.

Q: How did police learn of the threat?

A: A student noticed social media posts and told his mother. She reported it to school officials, who immediately told school resource officers, Sexton said Wednesday. “Then the investigation started immediately from there.” The investigation is ongoing, so police are limited in what they can divulge, he said.

The reminder, Whitfield said, is: “If the kids see something, they need to let an adult know. Even if you don’t think it’s serious … it should be brought to the attention of an adult.”

Q: Who was the target? Was it students, faculty or administrators?

A: “I think it would have been all of the above, from what I understand,” Whitfield said.

Q: What social media was involved?

A: It was a “hosted chat room,” Whitfield said. Although police can’t specify which chat room was used, it was not Facebook, Sexton said.

Q: When would the attack have occurred?

A: That is not clear, Whitfield and Sexton said.

Q: What are the boys’ current statuses?

A: Whitfield said he wasn’t sure but noted that all four had been in custody earlier this week at the county’s juvenile detention center awaiting hearings.

Documents in the case have been sealed by District Court Judge Dan Brooks, the presiding judge for the juvenile court, according to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.

Tim Potter: 316-268-6684, @terporter