A western Connecticut high school is trying to expel two students who are accused of dressing up as the Columbine shooters for Halloween and making threats of "bodily harm" to other students.
State police arrested the two Litchfield High School sophomores after school officials reached out to them.
"The costume was essentially black trench coats, baseball caps, and sunglasses," Litchfield Superintendent Lynn K. McMullin said. "This is the times we're living in, and we would be inhuman if it didn't put us on edge."
David Moraghan, who is representing one of the students, told the New York Times that the incident happened on the town green and a group walked up to the boys and said they looked like the Columbine High School shooters, then someone commented, "I bet you're going to shoot up the school."
“There was a sarcastic response to that, and that was basically the end of it,” said Moraghan, who also told the Times that one girl told her parents and that led to the call to police.
According to state police, troopers from the Troop L barracks in Litchfield responded to the high school on Sunday to investigate a report from McMullin about a "threat of a possible hostile event" happening at the high school Nov. 2.
Faculty heard the information from "people concerned about safety," state police said.
As police investigated, they identified the two sophomores as suspects and learned after interviewing the suspects and witnesses that the teens made "threats of bodily harm to other students at Litchfield High School," according to police.
McMullin stressed the importance of safety at district schools in a letter to the high school community.
"Throughout the past three days, the state police and the district have remained in close contact as their full investigation took place," McMullin said. "At every stage of the investigation, we were reassured by the troopers that there was no evidence of any credible threat that would necessitate any change in our regular daily practices. Nevertheless, at every stage, we took the matter very seriously."
Message from the school went on to affirm that there was never a credible threat.
A spokesperson for the superintendent said the school district has begin the expulsion hearing process.
Troopers took the juveniles into custody on Nov. 4 and transported them to juvenile detention, charging them with inciting injury to persons or property and breach of peace.
State police said that while there was no evidence of any credible threat in the incident, they take all threats, particularly ones at schools, "very seriously." Investigators remind residents to remain vigilant and notify police about any suspicious activity.