BELLEVILLE, Ill. - Classes are canceled Wednesday for thousands of students at Belleville East and West high schools after what was called a "credible threat" involving students and possibly a gun came in overnight.
The superintendent of the Belleville Township High School District #201 Jeff Dosier said he got a call about 5:20 a.m. this morning from Belleville police advising him about the situation. Dosier said police recommended that he close both high schools and that is what he did.
Some 4,800 students total attend Belleville East and West high schools.
Authorities believed the student may have brought his mother's handgun to campus. This was the last day of school in the district.
Dosier said that former student was taken into police custody at around 7:50 a.m. There were no injuries reported on campus.
Many police vehicles and drones were deployed around campus. A Temporary Flight Restriction was in place while police searched for the suspect with drones.
The student who made the threat was enrolled in the school but had not attended class all semester, Dosier said.
Dosier said a tip to police helped spark the investigation into the threat. He credited the actions of the students and parents in helping to bring this situation to a peaceful resolution early Wednesday morning.
Officers stopped by the 18-year-old's home in the 3300 block of West A Street in Belleville at 1:00 a.m. Wednesday. The suspect's mother told police that her son left home because he was having relationship problems with his girlfriend. Police were there because of a missing person report about someone who made suicidal comments. The mother discovered that her handgun was missing.
A Facebook post from Belleville Township High School District 201 says:
"This is Dr. Jeff Dosier, Superintendent of Belleville Township High School District #201. This morning we received word from the Belleville Police of a credible threat made by a student against another student. For the safety of our students and staff, we are canceling school today- Wednesday, May 23rd.
Students and staff should remain off campus until further notice. We will provide further details as soon as additional information is available.
Final examinations will resume on Thursday, May 24th."
Our initial report indicated that this threat may have been about two male students fighting over a girl. Dosier said that was incorrect. He said this was a case of a former male student threatening a female student.
The identity of the student making the threat has not been released.
Police have made no announcement on possible charges.