“The teacher was just able to notice something was off on Wednesday and he had the wherewithal to sit down and talk with them about it,” Heber City Police Chief Dave Booth said.
Booth said the talk led a 14-year-old boy to reveal a list of boys he wanted to kill. Police initially said there were six names on the list, but said Friday there were eight names. Two names were crossed off the list after the teen made amends with those classmates.
Authorities said the teen planned to use a knife to carry out his plan, likely because it was more accessible than a gun.
Some parents in Heber City said their children were afraid to attend school on Friday after hearing about the incident even though they do not attend Rocky Mountain Middle School.
ABC 4 Utah Reporter Cristina Rendon spoke with a boy named on the hit list and his mother. The family did not want to speak on camera, but said they were shocked by the note.
The mother of the boy said she met with school officials who told her they took care of the incident.
Police believe bullying may have been a motivating factor, but the boy named on the list said he knows the arrested teen well.
“I thought we were friends,” he said.
The boy said he asked school administration if they believed the 14-year-old had any accomplices. He was told it was an isolated incident.
Booth said the 14-year-old was charged with six counts of harassment and threatening a life or property. The teen was released to his parents under their supervision on Friday.
Booth said the boy’s parents very surprised and concerned about their son’s behavior. He said the couple claimed they “did not see this coming.”