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Van Buren County sheriff says school threat averted at Paw Paw High School

Van Buren County sheriff says school threat averted at Paw Paw High School // WSBT 22

A threat averted.

The sheriff in Van Buren County is breathing a sigh of relief after he says his department prevented a school shooting at Paw Paw High School Monday.

A 15-year-old boy is now in custody.

Sheriff Daniel Abbott says that boy appeared before a judge Monday.

He's facing multiple felony charges and will be tried as a juvenile.

Abbott says he's grateful things weren't worse.

"It's a copycat world we live in, unfortunately,” said Abbott.

Hardly a month after the shooting in Parkland, Florida that took 17 lives, Paw Paw, Michigan had a scare of its own.

"We got information yesterday that had come into our office about a 15-year-old that was possibly going to carry out a terrorist act involving explosives and firearms at Paw Paw High School today,” said Abbott.

At that point, Paw Paw's superintendent decided to close the school while the sheriff's department continued its investigation.

“I think they made the right call because we still had some interviews to do and we definitely didn't want to miss anything with this,” said Abbott.

Through the investigation detectives found a lot.

"Had the Molotov cocktails set up that he was going to finish off this morning and go to the school with, as well,” said Abbott.

The boy also had a backpack with a lot of ammunition and a shotgun and rifle inside.

Both had the stocks and barrels sawed off.

"The detectives and everybody else involved was very confident that he had every intention this morning to follow through,” said Abbott.

Abbott says the boy never made a direct threat.

His department was actually tipped off by the boy's family.

“Truth be told if it wasn't for the family we may not even be where were at today,” said Abbott.

Abbott says as hard as it was for the family to speak up, it was so crucial that they did.

Abbott says their tip, saved lives Monday.

Now he says the young man can get the mental help he needs.

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