High school student charged with making terrorist threat

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — A Harrisonville High School student is in jail Thursday night accused of threatening to shoot people at his school.

Jacob Vanderecken is in jail at the Cass County Detention Center after prosecutors say he threatened to go into Harrisonville High School and “shoot it up.”

The incident was alleged to take place last Friday, the same day Vanderecken was suspended from the high school for the remainder of the year while authorities investigated the threats.

According to court documents, the 18-year old made threats in person, on social media and through text messages.

“Anything that deals with safety and security at the school, the officers are usually right in the middle of it,” said Lt. Mike Prindle of the Harrisonville Police Department.

Harrisonville police and Harrisonville High School officials were first alerted to the threats last Thursday by the concerned father of another student.

“I would tell parents that we are very quick to address those issues. We don’t take anything lightly. We are in the day in age of course that anything involving students is paramount. We just, we don’t ignore it,”  Prindle said.

“The safety and security of our students and staff is our primary concern,” said Jill Filer, Director of Communications for Harrisonville Schools.

Confronted by authorities on Friday, Vanderecken was suspended from school for the remainder of the year while officials continued to investigate.

“You know we have a small town and a small town feel and we want to take care of each other and I think we do that,” said Filer.

A search warrant of Vanderecken’s home turned up no weapons, journals or writings containing the threats according to prosecutors, but the alleged verbal threat against the school was enough to prompt the charges.

“When we have these indents they are obviously not incidents that we can ignore. So charges have been filed,” said Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley.

Vanderecken has only been charged with making a terrorist threat to the school, but according to court documents his threats did not end with shooting up the high school.  Vanderecken admitted to police he had threatened to kill another student by cutting off his head. He also told police he was depressed and his intention was to scare people and get attention.

This is not the first time Vanderecken has been suspended from school, although school officials would not elaborate on prior incidents. The school says an email was sent to parents on Wednesday night informing them of the incident.

Vanderecken remains in jail on a $25,000 bond.

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