Two Students Charged After Knife Found At Worcester School

Two Students Charged After Knife Found At Worcester School
Worcester County Sheriff Matt Crisafulli shares details regarding the Berlin Intermediate School incident during a press conference Friday. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN – Two Berlin Intermediate School students face conspiracy to commit first degree murder and other charges following a June 1 incident at the school.

In a press conference Friday, Sheriff Matt Crisafulli said two juveniles had been charged with several counts after one of them, a 13-year-old, brought a knife to school to attack another student. The situation was described as a targeted threat at Berlin Intermediate School (BIS).

“I can confidently state there is no active threat at Berlin Intermediate School or any other school in Worcester County at this time,” Crisafulli said.

On Wednesday, June 1, Crisafulli said his office was contacted by school deputies at BIS after students shared concerns with school administration. Investigation revealed that following a verbal altercation on social media with another classmate days earlier, a 13-year-old female posted a photo of a knife on Snapchat along with statements indicating her intent to stab her classmate, the sheriff said.

“In speaking with witnesses, our school resource deputies learned that the female student had in fact brought a knife to school with her on June 1 and had asked another student to hide it near the wood line of the school so that she could stab the classmate during recess,” Crisafulli said. “Before the knife could be hidden several other students overheard the conversation and immediately reported the information to faculty members who immediately contacted our school deputies.”

Deputies discovered a fixed blade kitchen knife in the student’s backpack. Once the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation, witness statements were collected and evidence, including the suspect’s cellphone, was recovered.

“Both juvenile suspects confessed to their involvement in the plot,” Crisafulli said.

While the investigation is ongoing, investigators have applied for the following charges against the juveniles: conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, attempted assault in the first degree, conspiracy to commit assault in the first degree, reckless endangerment, concealed dangerous weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon on school property. No hearing dates have been scheduled at this time.

Superintendent Lou Taylor was quick to applaud the bravery of the students who went to school staff with their concerns.

“These heroic students went to trusted adults in the school to report what they knew of the pending threat,” he said. “We are here first and foremost today to honor the bravery of several of our students, who prevented what otherwise could have been a tragic event for Berlin Intermediate School and our entire school system.”

He thanked Crisafulli’s team as well as Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser for their work during the investigation. He added that this situation showed that the school system’s safety practices and protocols were effective.

“I am so very proud to say the system works,” Taylor said. “See something, hear something say something. It does work. Our standing before you today is evidence of just that.”

To view Friday’s full press conference, click here.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.