John Witherspoon Middle School student threatens to ‘shoot up school’

A John Witherspoon Middle School student told other students Thursday that he was going to get a gun and “shoot up the school tomorrow,” police said.

The student was overheard by a student who reported the incident and told school officials, who then contacted the Princeton Police.

An investigation revealed that the student did not have access to any firearms, police said.

The student has been taken into custody and is being placed on a monitoring bracelet by law enforcement officials while the incident remains under investigation, police said.

John Witherspoon Middle School has been declared safe and Princeton Police have increased patrols at the school.

“Chief Sutter would like to thank the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office for their assistance and also credits the prompt and professional response by the John Witherspoon School staff,” police said. “The Princeton Police Department and Princeton Schools have been working together to ensure a safe, secure learning environment exists on all of our campuses.”


  1. Another reminder to those of us who think that “stuff like that doesn’t happen around here.” So grateful to the students who let the staff know about what they’d overheard.

  2. After reading this article i still have questions: 1.) on the credibility of the student-witness. 2) there are number of measures to protect other students that are described in this article – this is great. What about this boy? if he really said this, why he is so unhappy at school? what about conversations with him?

    1. What? So… murder is murder (and mass murder in the form of school shootings is mass murder). If this boy is unhappy, mass murder isn’t an appropriate, healthy, moral, or legal response. You challenge the credibility of the student who reported him? Appalling. As a mother I would not want you anywhere near safety making decisions over any child.

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