Two individuals are in custody after two separate threats of violence were made at two schools in western Montana on Thursday.
A Big Sky High School student was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of bringing weapons to campus and threatening another student. The same day, Lake County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a youth after he made alleged threats to harm others with a gun at St. Ignatius High School.
At Big Sky High, a school resource officer was notified Thursday around lunchtime about a verbal argument between two male students, according to a press release sent by Missoula police.
A third party told the officer that 18-year-old Keyvin Gallagher was planning to “get revenge” against another involved male. The reporting party also said Gallagher might have a firearm.
The school officer located the potential victim and got him to safety. Gallagher was detained. No gun was located on him, but he did have knives on his person, according to the press release.
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Gallagher faces possible charges of conspiracy to commit assault with a weapon and unlawful possession of a weapon on school property.
He was booked into the Missoula County Detention Center at 2:40 p.m. on Thursday. Missoula police continue to investigate and no charges have been filed yet with the Missoula County Attorney’s Office.
In St. Ignatius around 2 p.m. on Thursday, Lake County Sheriff’s deputies got an alert about a social media post from an individual indicating he was planning to bring a gun to school to hurt others, a press release from the sheriff’s office stated.
“Preliminary investigation resulted in his arrest for the felony crime of intimidation, and a search warrant is currently in the process of being executed on his home,” the press release stated.
Within minutes of the report, the suspect was located by law enforcement and detained.
Officials are waiting to determine if he will be transported to the Missoula County Detention Facility. He appeared in a custody hearing in Lake County District Court Thursday afternoon.
“We also want to take this opportunity to again remind students, families and staff that MCPS treats all reports of any potential threats of school violence with the utmost seriousness,” Missoula County Public Schools spokeswoman Tyler Christensen said on Thursday afternoon. “Regardless of the level of a threat, we will proceed with an abundance of caution to prioritize school safety as we investigate. We encourage our school communities to report any threats or unsafe activities to a trusted adult at any of our schools.”
Earlier this week, a gunman left 19 children and two teachers dead after a massacre at a Texas elementary school.
In February, 18-year-old Parker Abbott was accused of threatening school violence at Big Sky, saying he was inspired by the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooter. He’s currently facing a felony charge in connection with that incident.