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Kansas 12-year-old charged with felony for pointing ‘finger gun’ at fellow students

A 12-year-old student at Westridge Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas, was arrested last month for forming a gun with her fingers and pointing it at four of her classmates one at a time and then herself.

The Kansas City Star reported that the unnamed girl was charged with a felony for threatening. Court documents said the girl “unlawfully and feloniously communicated a threat to commit violence, with the intent to place another, in fear, or with the intent to cause the evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular, ongoing activities.”

The Star obtained an incident report from the Overland Park Police Department, but that report provided only the date, time, and place of the incident with no details whatsoever.

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School district officials would not discuss the incident with the Star, except to say they did not arrest the student. A school resource officer from the Overland Park police would have handled that. The police department declined to comment.

The newspaper spoke to a person who was familiar with a more detailed incident report. “The person said that during a class discussion, another student asked the girl, if she could kill five people in the class, who would they be? In response, the girl allegedly pointed her finger pistol — like the ones many children use playing cops and robbers” — at four students and then herself, the Star wrote.

The girl was sent to the principal’s office, and school officials also spoke with the other students involved. The source told the star that the school resource officer recommended arrest. The girl was taken out of school in handcuffs, detained, and later released to her mother.

She is expected at a hearing in the Juvenile Division of the Johnson County District Court next week.

The girl is now living in California with her grandfather, Jon Cavanaugh, who told the Star it seemed like an incident that “probably could have been handled in the principal’s office and got completely out of hand.”

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