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Boy in alleged school shooting plot meant no harm, lawyer says

March 8, 2012 |  6:47 am

Notre Dame High School
The 16-year-old Notre Dame High School student who was arrested but not charged for allegedly making threatening comments against several people on the Sherman Oaks campus meant no harm to anyone and took back his harsh words shortly after making them, his lawyer said Thursday.

Michael A. Goldstein, the Sherman Oaks attorney representing the teen, acknowledged the boy made the threatening remark but was expressing spur-of-the-moment frustration to a friend, he said. Soon after, he told the friend he did not mean what he said. But another student heard his initial comments, and the damage was done.

"Unfortunately, my client made some comments out of frustration," Goldstein said of the boy whose name has not been released because he is a minor. "While I certainly understand the concerns that were raised, it's clear from what he told his friend that these were impulsive comments made by a boy who never intended to harm anybody."

The boy was arrested Friday but prosecutors Wednesday declined to file charges, citing insufficient evidence. Sources also said that, despite his alleged comments, it's far from clear that the student planned to use a rifle found during a search of his home.

Goldstein said the World War II-era antique rifle cited by authorities was secured in a safe at the boy's home.

The teen was arrested after police received a tip from a parent. The student also had been upset about the recent death of his grandmother, Goldstein said.

He allegedly told a friend that he was planning to kill two other students and a teacher, according to police. Another student overheard the alleged conversation and reported it to a parent, who in turn contacted police.

Authorities say the teen confessed when questioned by detectives. The student was released to his father, according to the LAPD.


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-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks. Credit: KTLA-TV.