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Suspect arrested after threatening Zeeland high schoolers

The Holland Sentinel • May 14, 2019 at 8:41 PM

ZEELAND — A brief lockdown Tuesday at Zeeland East High School, Zeeland West High School and Quincy Elementary School was lifted after 22 minutes once a suspect was taken into police custody.

The lockdown was called at 11:45 a.m. for the three schools, while Creekside Middle School, Roosevelt Elementary School, ZQuest, Lincoln Elementary School, Early Childhood Center and the Zeeland Public Schools administration building were put into “shelter in place,” under the direction of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

School officials said a former student in the area made a social media threat toward current Zeeland high school students, prompting the lockdown. The suspect was taken into custody by the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office at noon and the lockdown was lifted at 12:07 p.m.

Capt. Mark Bennett of the Sheriff’s Office said the incident took place at 9900 Riley St. Several law enforcement units responded.

“The threats were concerning but non-specific, and the students that noted the messages reported to school authorities, who notified law enforcement immediately,” Bennett said.

The suspect is a 16-year-old from Montcalm County and was cooperative, police said. They said the suspect did not possess or have access to any weapons.

At a county board meeting shortly after the incident, Sheriff Steve Kempker thanked his deputies who responded to the scene in Zeeland.

“The threat that was there was put to rest very quickly,” Kempker said. “Through the efforts of the deputies, we were very quickly able to put that to a good ending.”

The suspect was questioned by detectives and a report will be sent to the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office for possible criminal charges. The incident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, Bennett said.

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