Another Gillette School Threat: 12-Year-Old Talked About Shooting Up School Dance

Last week’s ticketing of a 12-year-old suspected of threatening to shoot people at a school dance is the latest in a long string of violent threats made by Gillette students.

Greg Johnson

May 09, 20233 min read

A 12-year-old Sage Valley Junior High student has been ticketed for allegedly making threats to shoot people at a school dance.
A 12-year-old Sage Valley Junior High student has been ticketed for allegedly making threats to shoot people at a school dance. (Sage Valley Junior High School via Facebook)

A 12-year-old Gillette junior high student has been barred from school and ticketed for allegedly threating to shoot people at a recent school dance.

The Sage Valley Junior High student told multiple classmates on his school bus about the threats last week, the Gillette Police Department reports, according to the Gillette News Record. The boy was ticketed on suspicion of breach of peace.

Along with being restricted from returning to Sage Valley, parents of students at the school also were contacted, the GPD reports, adding that an investigation into the alleged threats continues.

Is It A Trend?

The shooting threat is the latest in a series of similar incidents at Gillette junior high schools.

Last month, two Twin Spruce Junior High students were arrested over the course of three days for allegedly making terroristic and other threats.

In December 2021, a 14-year-old Twin Spruce student was arrested for also issuing alleged terroristic threats, according to reporting by the Gillette News Record.

In that incident, a 13-year-old girl reported getting a threatening message over social media, which was traced to the 14-year-old. While just what was contained in the threat wasn’t released, the News Record reports that it was made against students and staff at Twin Spruce.

That incident was the third within a month for Gillette schools, following a 12-year-old reportedly threatening multiple people, including having a list of those she wanted to target.

Shortly after that, two Campbell County High School students were accused of threatening to “shoot up” the school over social media, the News Record reported.

Goes Back Almost A Decade

Sage Valley was the target of other threats in May 2017 when a pair of students, ages 14 and 15, were arrested on suspicion of making plans to shoot classmates on the last day of school.

Both reportedly told other students about their plan, including saying they needed a gun to carry it out. They also told some students they should wear a red shirt on the last day so they wouldn’t be targeted.

In another incident in May 2014, nearly 330 Twin Spruce students were absent from school, held at home by their parents after graffiti on a bathroom wall threatened a shooting on a specific day.

Perhaps the most serious threat came Nov. 13, 2018, when a 14-year-old Sage Valley student brought two handguns and dozens of rounds of ammunition to school with plans to shoot certain students and staff.

After another student reported him, the principal isolated the student and calmly persuaded him to turn over his weapons.

According to court testimony in the case, the 14-year-old said he woke up that morning and made the decision to carry out a school shooting as an homage to his biological father, who died not long before.

A call to Campbell County School District Superintendent Alex Ayers about the history of threats wasn’t returned before this story was posted. Calls to school district board members also weren’t returned.

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Greg Johnson

Managing Editor

Veteran Wyoming journalist Greg Johnson is managing editor for Cowboy State Daily.