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Wall Township Fifth Grader Targets Intermediate School In Mass Casualty Plot

Plan similar to "Columbine or Newtown'' was "elaborate,'' police said.

Juvenile charges are pending for a fifth grade Wall Township Schools student whose “elaborate plan” to inflict mass casualties at a township intermediate school was thwarted by school officials and police, authorities said Friday.

The student, whose name is not being released by authorities, was planning an event “similar to a Columbine or Newtown’’ at Wall Intermediate School, Wall Township Police Lt. John Brockriede said.

The plan, which named 40 district students and some celebrities as possible targets and was developed when the student was enrolled at Central School, was discovered after police seized a computer from the student’s home following an investigation that began in April, Brockriede said.

District officials in April found a note containing more general, but violent threats and removed the student from the Central School and he was never allowed to attend the Intermediate School, Brockriede said.

Police were contacted, an investigation was launched, resulting in the seizure of the computer, Brockriede said.

“We believe it was more of a fantasy-type thing he had,’’ Brockriede said. “Not something he was capable of actually carrying out.’’

Nonetheless, Brockriede described the plan as “elaborate.’’

In their investigation, police found a list of 40 district students’ names, identified by first name only, who were potential targets in the plan, along with some celebrities also targeted for violence, Brockriede said.

“There were elements of fantasy in this plan,’’ Brockriede said. “There were things that he just couldn’t have possibly accomplished.’’

The students named in the list were tracked down and their parents were notified by police, Brockriede said.

At least one member of the student’s family has weapons, but at no time did the student have access to the weapons called for in his plan, Brockriede said.

Charges are pending, he said, but Brockriede declined to say what they were pending a filing with the court system.

Classes in the Wall Township School District opened for the new school year on Thursday. The student was not among the pupils at Central School, Brockriede said.

A letter from Interim schools Superintendent Stephanie Bilenker addressing the investigation was posted to the district website. The letter, dated Wednesday, the day before schools opened, was an effort to tamp parents’ concerns about the safety of their children.

“Please be advised and assured that law enforcement and school officials are taking every step necessary to ensure the safety of all of its students as well as addressing the needs of the juvenile suspect,” the letter reads. “The matter is currently under investigation and juvenile charges are anticipated in the very near future.”

Bilenker in the letter says the district is taking extra security precautions in light of the potential threat. She was not more specific.

A call to Bilenker’s office was not immediately returned.

Brockriede said parents should be assured that their children were safe during the investigation and praised the cooperation between the school district and the police.

“We’ve done everything in our power and the schools have done everything in their power to make sure their kids are safe,’’ Brockriede said.

none of your business September 06, 2013 at 02:43 PM
These parents should do us all a favor and retroactively abort that little monster.
Jake Mooney September 06, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Don't we just love all those mass murders and senseless violence in the games our children play on their TVs and hand held devices?
Judith September 06, 2013 at 03:46 PM
We sure do, Jake - they give the kids lots of practice before they go out into the real world! (read sarcasm)
Gene Shumaker September 06, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Great police work following up .. more should do the same....
Mark Gardner September 06, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Wow! I should be in prison for all the stuff I wrote and drew as a 10 or 11 year old kid! Who knew I was such a danger to society for having an IMAGINATION.
Brett Johnson September 06, 2013 at 06:00 PM
"Who knew I was such a danger to society for having an IMAGINATION." You actually consider plotting mass murder simply "having an imagination"? What a sick mind you must have!
Leesa Adam September 06, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Mark you have left this comment on another site as well. Have some respect for those people who had children affected by this. You seem to have a sick mind for sure. Hope someone is paying attention to you now!
Hemendalll September 07, 2013 at 09:50 AM
I give up! Where is Wall Township?
ray September 07, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Hey, everybody. Now that we know that Mark Gardner is a budding mass murderer, can we have some one throw him behind bars before he starts shooting?
Bruce September 07, 2013 at 04:41 PM
That's one GREAT job of parenting, don't you think?
LJ September 07, 2013 at 07:29 PM
As a 5th grader, this kid is about 11 years old. " Its more of a fantsy type thing", says one of the brainstorms. Well, duh!! He's a little kid. Exactly how did they expect him to carry out ANYTHING? He probably thinks Star Wars is real. Clearly the kid is disturbed and may need some therapy, but at this age, is he a threat? Not unless there is free access to guns in his home. Maybe the school officials and the police need to start taking some valium or reality pills.
proud September 08, 2013 at 12:00 PM
To answer the question, "Where is Wall Township" : it is east of Alcatraz and south of Sing Sing.
James September 08, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Is there any doubt that all the nasty cartoons, violence in video games and music, etc is negatively impacting the youth of today? It's getting worse and worse and no one wants to do anything about it.
Frank J. Austin September 08, 2013 at 05:25 PM
No doubt whatsoever, James. Some of those "games" are nothing more than crime / murder simulators.
Jeremy Rapp September 08, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Tyler Smalley
Mik Marino September 08, 2013 at 08:02 PM
We tell our kids they are nothing but "evolved animals" that there are no absolute rights and wrongs, if it feels good do it and the heck with others, the womb is the most dangerous place in America, we glorify violence in TV, video games the movies and sports, and then we wonder why are kids are so messed up?
Don Hellbound September 09, 2013 at 06:08 AM
point him to the Whitehouse.
Southpaw September 09, 2013 at 02:55 PM
Agreeing with James. Between the violent TV shows, videos, and what they hear/watch on the news, these monstrous actions are burrowing their way into kids' brains today. I can't believe this a-hole is only 10. That is way too scary. Would love to know the reaction of the parents...probably something sad like "not my kid; he would never do that".
John Myers September 09, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Oh man, somebody like that should be horse whipped, drug behind a running horse, have his tongue cut out and both arms removed before he is tarred and feathered. Or better yet, get him into a mental facility and help him. That shouldn't cost much more than than than half a year of incarceration would.
Scotty September 09, 2013 at 06:28 PM
@Mik Marino: what horse-puckey. Naturally, you're making the assumptive leap that those who believe in a woman's right to choose or who believe in evolution over your Bible have no moral standards? (It's there in your claim). I'm 100% for any human's right to choose what's right for them in a desperate situation, and live by a strong moral code which is: do unto others as I'd have them do unto me. It's a very simple yet complicated precept: Don't harm another unless you wish to be harmed in return. So far I've never raised my hand against another human being...however--I WILL defend myself if attacked. I don't steal, I treat everyone well, I have excellent manners and I devote much of my life to the care of animals and making music. My very happy and fulfilled life does not involve religion in any form and kicking the church to the curb hasn't harmed me in any shape or form the way being IN a fanatically religious family once did. I don't follow the idea of 'if it feels good do it' and certainly have never taught that to any child. Have you? If you have, you should be horse-whipped. YET I don't believe children should have anyone else's religious ideas force-fed down their throats: it's how one begets fanatics--not only on 'our' side, but on 'theirs' - wherever 'theirs' happens to be. As for glorifying violence in Movies and TV? Speak for yourself--I guarantee you that vastly more males support, watch and revel in screen violence than any women. Just whom do YOU think creates those viciously sexist 'games' or 'cartoons' involving dark violence? Look in the mirror. Do you curse and scream at other drivers--exhibiting road rage while your kids are in the car? Do you use negative words towards your neighbours or people dissimilar to you? I'd guess so purely by this post of yours. More 'leading by example'. Kindly stop blaming those who don't ascribe to how YOU think and pay more attention to your own behaviour.
proud September 09, 2013 at 07:40 PM
All that?
James September 10, 2013 at 09:26 AM
We need to put personal agendas aside and start looking at this rapidly growing issue closer before it gets too much further out of hand. Terrorists, governments and cults use brainwashing techniques as well as constantly reinforcing all with pictures, videos, and constant exposure to violence and inhume acts, etc. to desensitize and degenerate people, including children all the time. What do you think the heightened, constant exposure to the same in games, songs, internet, movies, some performers and entertainers, and TV, etc. can cause. The genie is out of the bottle in this day and age, and isn’t all a good thing. We must look for common ground and apply common sense too. This issue will only to get worse if so many people continue to ignore it, play it down and reap profits from all this with no consequences. Here is a simple start, make “The Fall of the Roman Empire” required reading and teaching in schools and for teachers too. The USA is now experiencing what Rome did before it went down. We are coming apart from within. At this rate we will not get to 1000 years like Rome. “Those Who Do Not Learn History Are Doomed To Repeat It." Just a thought.
susan September 10, 2013 at 10:57 AM
“We believe it was more of a fantasy-type thing he had,’’ Brockriede said. “Not something he was capable of actually carrying out.’’
Dame Bridgid September 12, 2013 at 11:32 AM
He may not have been able to carry out the entire scenario he planned, but that would not have comforted his potential victims families at the graveside, Brokenriede. We need to reopen some mental institutions for public safety. A lot of these people have years of warning signs. For example; Loughner's family desperately tried to prevent his atrocity. the mother of the one responsible for the Newton school massacre was actually trying to get him involuntarily committed. Sadly, the family or friends are usually the target of the mentally unbalanced & a lot of the time these nutcakes are only sent to jail after they kill or maim. Then, they let them out to do it again.

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