Marin County

Student Charged With Hate Crime, Made Threats of Shooting School in Novato: Police

Novato police arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of threatening a shooting at Novato High School Wednesday.

Police said several Novato High School students received threatening electronic messages from the 16-year-old boy who was a student at another high school in Marin County. The teen also made statements regarding the Novato High School students' sexual orientation, police said.

"They felt unsafe, so it was great that they felt comfortable coming forward to a teacher and telling, 'Hey we probably should look into this, because that keeps all of us safe,'" Novato High School Principal Mark Brewer said.

The teacher and administrators took the complaint immediately to Novato police, which began working an investigation Tuesday night.

Detectives interviewed the teen and his family at their home and the boy and his family denied any intention of causing harm at the school. Detectives found a pellet gun during a search of the residence, police said.

The teen was arrested and booked into Juvenile Hall on suspicion of criminal threats and committing a hate crime. The investigation will be forwarded to the Marin County District Attorney's Office for review, and the boy will be referred to counseling services, police said.

Officers will be present in the area of Novato High School today to reassure students and parents there is no continuing threat to the school, police said.

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