WOODBRIDGE - Three juveniles, two 14-year-olds and a 15-year-old, have been arrested and charged with setting the fire last week that partially destroyed the playground for special needs students at Matthew Jago School #28 in the Sewaren section.
Mayor John E. McCormac and Police Director Robert Hubner said the arrests were made Friday shortly after officials toured the site where fire caused more than $100,000 in damage to playground equipment and park facilities.
The teen boys were charged with aggravated arson and malicious mischief, officials said.
"I am gratified that the Woodbridge Police Department was able to make arrests within hours of the fire. These arrests send a strong message to anyone who thinks that setting a fire and destroying thousands of dollars of playground equipment is simply vandalism,” McCormac said. "I would like to thank neighborhood residents — and the media — for their assistance and cooperation in helping the Woodbridge Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office conduct a thorough and effective investigation."
McCormac said the arrests were made within 48 hours of the fire.
EARLIER: Woodbridge looks to replace school playground destroyed by fire
EARLIER: Woodbridge Matthew Jago School #28 playground destroyed by suspected arson
Hubner said the Woodbridge Police Department's Detective Bureau and uniformed police officers conducted an extensive investigation, speaking with neighbors and residents of the Sewaren neighborhood. Information developed that led detectives to the suspects, who were allegedly spotted at the playground in the late afternoon of Aug. 1.
About 5:45 p.m. that day, the fire was reported to the Woodbridge Township Police Department 911 Dispatch Operations Center and the Port Reading Fire Department after a neighborhood resident spotted the flames.
The Port Reading Fire Department responded to the scene within minutes of the report and found a large section of playground equipment fully engulfed in flames. The fire was deemed under control by 6:30 p.m., officials said.
McKinney North High School was briefly placed on lockdown Friday morning after a student killed himself with a gun on campus.
McKinney ISD says the student was a tenth-grade boy. Police say he was found in an empty classroom by a teacher and a student. He was rushed to the hospital with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound and later died.
The school was immediately placed on lockdown following reports of a gunshot.
Students were moved to Boyd High School where their parents picked them up. Those who drove to school were allowed to drive home after being checked out, the school district said.
There were tears and hugs as students were released to their parents hours after the incident. Students described the terrifying moments.
“People didn't know what was going on,” said student Reece Cho. “I started crying. I was worried about my friends and my sister.”
“I'd just come from lunch walking up to my classroom. As soon as I got in, my teacher slammed the door, yelling at us to get to the back of the classroom, turned off the lights,” recalled student Aubrey Ferris. “We just sat there for an hour and 15 minutes. She told us not to get on our phones because it was illuminating our faces. We just sat there."
A male student shot and injured a teacher and another student at Noblesville West Middle School on Friday morning, police said.
Noblesville police Chief Kevin Jowitt said the shooting suspect asked to leave a class and returned armed with two handguns. The suspect is in custody and has not been identified by police.
News outlets were reporting that a seventh-grade science teacher intervened to stop the shooter, but authorities said they could not confirm that on Friday afternoon.
Police did not release the names of the two victims Friday and did not provide information on their conditions. The adult victim was taken to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital, and the teen victim was taken to Riley Hospital for Children, both in Indianapolis. Their families have been notified, police said.
The Noblesville Police Department has a full-time school resource officer assigned to the school who responded to the incident, Jowitt said. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies also responded to the shooting.
“We do know that the situation resolved extremely quickly,” Jowitt said. “We don’t know what happened in the classroom, so I can’t make any kinds of comments about what [the resource officer’s] involvement was.”
A former Vanderbilt football player who testified against three of his former teammates in a campus rape case was sentenced Monday to 10 years' probation as part of a plea deal.
Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie is the only one of the four players charged in the 2013 dormitory room rape of an unconscious student who did not get sentenced to prison. Cory Batey and Brandon Banks were both sentenced to serve 15 years. Brandon Vandenburg, who was called the instigator of the attack, was sentenced to 17 years in prison.
McKenzie, 23, had been charged with five counts of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual battery. His testimony against the other players helped secure guilty verdicts in their trials. He admitted to taking one photo of the woman during the rape but testified that he did not touch her. Photos and video recorded of the rape also helped secure multiple convictions in a case that horrified many on and off campus.
At least one person was killed and another injured Friday night in a shooting that followed a graduation ceremony in Jonesboro, Ga., authorities told Fox News.
The shots were fired after an argument broke out in a parking lot near the Clayton County Schools Performing Arts Center, the Clayton County Police Department said. The lot provided overflow parking for those attending a commencement for graduates of the Perry Learning Center, an alternative high school that prepares students for careers.
Law enforcement is still searching Santa Fe High School in Texas and other locations for explosive devices after a gunman opened fire at the school on Friday morning, leaving at least 10 people dead and another 10 injured in what Gov. Greg Abbott labeled “the worst disaster to ever strike this community.”
Suspect Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, is in custody in connection with the shooting. Pagourtzis allegedly used a shotgun and a .38 revolver in the attack, Abbott said in an afternoon press conference.
“Various kinds of explosives,” including a “CO2 device” and a Molotov cocktail, were also found in a home and a vehicle, Abbott stated, adding there is “potential for explosive devices in other sites being investigated.”
It appears the devices were made by the shooter but that could not be “solidly confirmed.” Officials are still “working on a total number of explosive devices,” which may be in the suspect’s “house, car and other two locations.”
“Law enforcement is still in the process of undertaking searches and investigations of the entire scene and other locations,” the governor said.
“This," he added, "is just the beginning of what will be a very robust response.”
A student and teacher are dead after a full-size school bus collided with a dump truck on a major New Jersey highway Thursday, a violent accident that ripped the undercarriage completely off the bus and left it demolished on its side in the median.
The bus, which was carrying 38 students and seven adults from East Brook Middle School in Paramus, crashed around 10:20 a.m. on Route 80 near exit 25 in Mount Olive Township, Gov. Phil Murphy said at an emotional news conference in Paramus Thursday. Two were killed and the rest were injured, some critically.
Investigators are looking into whether the school bus was trying to make a left turn in the median before the crash, and whether that was when the dump truck and bus collided, a senior law enforcement official told News 4. The official cautioned that the investigation was still early and that no conclusion had been reached.
State police said the truck driver had been interviewed following the wreck. The school bus driver is still being treated for injuries and has not yet been interviewed.
The injured were transported to six different hospitals, and some are undergoing surgery.
A police officer working at a northern Illinois high school shot and wounded a former student who fired a gun at him, officials said.
The shooting happened at about 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Authorities said the school police officer, known as a school resource officer, saved many lives.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Lee County Sheriff John Simonton said Wednesday.
Dixon Police Chief Steve Howell said a preliminary investigation showed the suspect fired several shots near a gym at Dixon High School.
City Manager Danny Langloss says students were gathered there for graduation practice when the officer exchanged gunfire with the gunman.
The suspect was then confronted by a school resource officer. The suspect exited the school and began running away, Howell said.
During the pursuit, the suspect shot several rounds toward the officer, who returned fire, striking the suspect.
Staff and students barricaded doors to classrooms with desks, bookcases and other objects due to training they received.
Authorities said the suspect is a 19-year-old former student.
PALMDALE, Calif. -- Authorities say they caught a 14-year-old suspected of shooting a former classmate at a California high school after the boy called his father to say he fired his gun in the air and was headed to a grocery store near campus. A boy was shot in the arm at a southern California high school Friday morning, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Friday that the 14-year-old's father then called a family friend who's an off-duty police officer and told him where the boy was.
The off-duty officer, who works for Los Angeles police, then detained the teen.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida says the 15-year-old victim was shot in the arm and is expected to fully recover.
The rifle used at Highland High School in Palmdale was found in a field near the school.
Investigators say the shooting stemmed from a dispute between the 14-year-old and the victim.
911 calls reported a man with a gun at Highland High School in Palmdale around 7 a.m. and the school was later cleared after law enforcement rushed to the scene.
The incident appears to be isolated and there's no indication the student suspect tried to shoot others, the department says. There were other students in the area of the shooting, but it wasn't clear whether it happened on campus or just outside. School wasn't in session when incident happened, but students were beginning to arrive.