The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Monday, January 27, 2014, 2:15 p.m.

Student fire called apparent suicide attempt

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A 16-year-old boy set himself on fire at a suburban Denver high school on Monday in an apparent suicide attempt that left him critically injured, authorities said.
The boy didn’t make any threats before starting the fire in the cafeteria at Standley Lake High School at about 7:15 a.m., Westminster Police Department spokeswoman Cheri Spottke said.
“There is no indication there were any threats to any schools,” she said.
A custodian was able to use a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze before it could spread, Spottke said. Several other students were in the cafeteria at the time, but none were injured.
Investigators went through the school with bomb detection dogs as a precaution, and no devices were discovered, Spottke said. Investigators are also talking to students, faculty members and family members to find out what happened, she said.
“We don’t have any indication that there’s any threat against the high school. We do believe that this is a suicide attempt,” she said.
Spottke didn’t know how the student set the fire, which caused extensive smoke in the building.
The school was closed for the day and students were sent home, Jefferson County Public Schools spokeswoman Lynn Setzer said. She didn’t know if students were in class when the fire was reported.
Setzer said students without cars were taken by buses to a local middle school, where they were picked up by their parents.
Security vehicles and police cruisers blocked the entrance to the school as light snow fell on a frigid morning.
Monday’s incident was the latest to affect a Denver-area school in recent weeks.
On Thursday, Columbine High School, where two gunmen killed 13 people in 1999, went on high security alert after receiving a series of threatening phone calls. The alert applied to a half-dozen other schools in the area, in the same school district as Standley Lake, but was lifted the same day.
On Dec. 13, student gunman Karl Pierson, 17, fatally shot Claire Davis, a 17-year-old classmate at Arapahoe High School in Centennial before killing himself in the school’s library. Pierson reportedly had threatened a teacher and librarian who had disciplined him last year and allegedly was seeking that teacher when he entered the school, investigators have said.
Colorado state lawmakers are considering a bill to spend about $250,000 to continue a hotline students and teachers can use to report threats and bullying anonymously. State officials say the hotline has prevented more than two dozen school attacks since its creation in 2004.
Westminster was home to 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, who was abducted on her way to school and killed in 2012. Austin Sigg, who was 17 at the time of the crime, was sentenced to a life sentence plus 86 years. Jessica’s disappearance put Westminster and neighboring Denver suburbs on edge as police, aided by an army of volunteers, searched for her and then her killer.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

HeraldNet highlights

Better for knowing you
Better for knowing you: Hall touched the lives of many people, including a Herald writer
Hoop skills
Hoop skills: College students on break teach finer points of basketball
Rocking all over again
Rocking all over again: Heart guitarist Roger Fisher pours soul into new project
Keeping it wild
Keeping it wild: Camano family honored for farm stewardship
SnoCoSocial