BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Police say a rocky romance led to scary moments Wednesday morning in Belleville. Classes were canceled at both Belleville East and Belleville West High Schools after what authorities called a "credible threat" involving students came in overnight.
Police have an 18-year-old in custody. The St. Clair County State’s Attorney says he’s waiting for the case to be handed over, before determining what if any charges will be filed in the case.
“We got lucky there's no other way to say it, " said Dr. Jeff Dosier, Belleville School Superintendent.
Dosier got a call from police just before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning of a threat made against Belleville East High School. On the advice from law enforcement, he canceled the last day of finals for both campuses.
“They were just shocked out of their minds they couldn`t believe it and they`re also kind of ticked off that they had another day of school and Summers push back,” said Sydney Ryan Culley, a student.
Police say a mother called in to report that her son left the house after getting into a fight with his girlfriend and making suicidal comments. She also noticed her handgun was missing.
Dosier says the 18-year-old suspect is enrolled in the district but has not attended classes most of the semester.
Authorities searched the east campus where they believe he was planning to confront his girlfriend and other students.
“It's unfortunate in the day and age that we live in it requires that sort of response but I`m awfully grateful and relieved about it,” said instructor Joe Nesbit.
“I think they were very prompt in getting a handle on everything and making sure that everybody was safe so I feel like it was handled appropriately,” said parent Anderson Garth.
Dosier says there will be additional security on both campuses as students return for their last day of finals which have been rescheduled for Thursday.
But this scare and the growing list of school shootings shows the real threats students and staff have to be prepared for.
“I think this situation is an example of how things went right it was reported to authorities and we feel very fortunate,” said Dosier.
“I know it could happen again but to have our principal and superintendent watching her back and keeping up on stop at that I know that they can keep this play safe,” said Culley.