Metro-East News

Bullets found on student at Belleville West, officials say

In this BND file photo from Jan. 8, 2018, a Belleville police patrol car is parked outside Belleville West High School.
In this BND file photo from Jan. 8, 2018, a Belleville police patrol car is parked outside Belleville West High School. drieck@bnd.com

Two bullets were found in a student's backpack Friday afternoon at Belleville West High School.

Belleville Township District 201 Assistant Superintendent Brian Mentzer sent a robocall out to parents Friday afternoon, informing them about the bullet and updating them on the school's safety policies.

The student did not have access to a firearm, Mentzer said, and no threats were made, Mentzer said.

"This appears to have been just a very poor choice," Mentzer said.

Belleville Police arrested a 16-year-old male student Friday afternoon, the department reported. The school resource officer was told about a student believed to be under the influence of cannabis, according to a news release. The student was taken into custody and transported to the station.

Mentzer told parents the school district was working with Belleville Police to refine safety plans, especially in light of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, where a man killed 17 people.

"The Belleville Police Department has assured us that at no time will an officer be pulled from our campus for other duty," Mentzer said. "In addition, we have made concerted efforts to employ trained security professionals to help increase our ability to secure our campuses."

A school resource officer was pulled away from their duty at a District 201 school to work with the Major Case Squad, said Superintendent Jeff Dosier. The department asked juvenile detectives and other patrol officers to fill in when the resource officer was gone.

The district created a new email and voicemail for the community to send tips on school safety to. Anyone can call 618-222-8222 or email safety@bths201.org with any concerns.

Multiple schools in the metro-east area have seen threats of violence this week, including Cahokia, East St. Louis and Granite City. None proved to be legitimate. Police arrested a Centralia and Cahokia teen for making terrorist threats.

Are we seeing more school threats following deadly Florida shooting? Experts weigh in.

  Comments