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Johnson County boy taken into custody after threatening to ‘shoot up’ middle school

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Overland Park police took a boy into custody Wednesday after administrators say he posted on social media that he would "shoot up" his middle school.

Hours after that threat on Westridge Middle School, Paige Tuley was still fighting back tears. Tuley’s 13-year-old twin boys are eighth graders at the Overland Park school in the Shawnee Mission School District.

”I just can’t believe it. I mean, I just don’t want anything to happen to my boys or anyone else for that matter," Tuley said.

She said just after 8 a.m. Wednesday her sons called her at work in a panic and said they weren’t  going to school because they were afraid.

”I was freaked out. I was pretty scared, thinking that I was gonna have to leave work and get to them,”  Tuley said.

A school district spokesman confirmed there was a threat posted on social media, and police took the boy into custody.

Tuley’s sons told FOX4 the boy is a seventh-grader.

FOX4 was also told, based on a screenshot posted on Snapchat, the boy allegedly said “On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, Westridge Middle School will face a tragedy more tragic than ever seen before. I will shoot up the school during third lunch. I will also strategically place explosives under tables and exits. I recommend not showing up.”

“During school he texted my friend and said it was just all a joke. He didn’t mean for it to get this far,” 13-year-old Austin Tuley said.

”It’s so scary, so unreal. Those are some really, really big words for a little kid," Paige Tuley said.

In an e-mail sent to parents, Westridge’s principal said in part, “As soon as we learned of that threat, we reached out to the district police department and local police.”

”I feel a lot better now knowing he’s in custody,” Austin Tuley said.

”Thank you to the school for being as thorough as they were and fast about handling the situation,” Paige Tuley said.

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