(Ashland) (AP) – A central Missouri teenager shot and killed himself as he was being taken into custody for allegedly sending a text threatening school violence, authorities said Tuesday.
The shooting happened around 2 a.m. Tuesday near Ashland. The name of the 17-year-old student has not been released.
Boone County Maj. Tom Reddin said the teen, a student at Southern Boone High School, sent a text to another student Monday night with a non-specific threat of school violence.
“It indicated that something dramatic and threatening was going to be happening at school today, to include loss of life,” Reddin said.
The family of the teen who received the text contacted police. All four schools in the small district were closed Tuesday as bomb-sniffing dogs and police searched the buildings. Nothing was found, Reddin said.
An Ashland officer and a Boone County deputy first went to the home of the student who sent the text about 11 p.m. Monday. After further investigation, they returned early Tuesday to take the teenager into custody, Reddin said.
The student, wearing only shorts, asked to go inside and get dressed, Reddin said. The officers obliged.
“When doing so he retrieved a firearm kept in the family home and shot himself in the chest,” Reddin said. The weapon was a small-caliber handgun.
The teen was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The district’s schools were expected to reopen Wednesday.
Ashland is a town of 3,800 residents near Columbia.