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De Smet Teen Charged With Making Terror Threat

January 20, 2011, 5:32 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

De Smet Teen Charged With Making Terror Threat
DE SMET, SD - Comments made on a social networking website are being taken seriously in De Smet.

Officials took a high school student into custody Wednesday when they found out about postings on Facebook that threatened lives at the school.

The student who was arrested is 18-year-old Melissa Kruger. She's charged with simple assault and making a terroristic threat.

According to court documents obtained by KELOLAND News, Kruger had made several posts on a facebook page.

One said she planned to use a shotgun but didn't have a "coat long enough to get it inside the school. Sorry everyone, I guess the school shooting will have to wait another week."

The postings even described specific students to target, and others to miss. Now, people in the small Kingsbury County community say they're glad authorities took the online threat seriously.

The De Smet school district has about 300 K-through-12 students, but one less is in attendance today. Administrators brought in authorities after a threat was found on the social networking website Facebook on Wednesday morning.

"It is scary, very scary," Ardis Price said.

Kruger was arrested and is now scheduled to make her first appearance at the Kingsbury County Courthouse on Monday morning. Those who live in the community say school officials the authorities did the right thing by taking action.

"Very definitely take it serious. But then go on and find out some of the reasons why," Irene Petersen said.

The Sheriff's Office says the school was never placed on lockdown.

"I think that all of the schools should be they should be checked, I think the kids should be checked as they come in. I think there should be metal detectors put by the doors," Price said.

And even though the people in this community appreciate the safety at the school, they say the whole town can't let their guard down.

"The opportunity is all over, wherever you go whether you're big or little towns," Petersen said.

And as authorities continue their investigation, community members are left to wonder why someone would want to cause harm in their town.

"These kids that do these things need help. They're looking for attention in my opinion," Petersen said.

"I don't know if kids think its funny, but I don't think its funny," Price said.

Making a terroristic threat is a Class 5 felony in South Dakota, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

The court papers say Kruger underwent a mental evaluation prior to being questioned by authorities.

Another of her Facebook posts said, "if people understood me then maybe I wouldn't want them all dead."

However, she told the investigator that she didn't think she'd ever hurt anyone, and that she made the threats because she was depressed and bored.
Melissa Rae Kruger Court Documents.pdf

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