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Idaho student planned assault on classmates named on hit list: police

By Laura Zuckerman

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - An Idaho junior high school student with a collection of firearms and ammunition has been taken into custody by police who accused him of planning to gun down classmates named on a "hit list," a police chief said on Wednesday.

The teen, whose name and age were withheld because he is a juvenile, was expected to face criminal charges after undergoing a mental evaluation, police said. They said the planned attack was aimed at fellow students at Rigby Junior High School in Rigby, an agricultural community of about 4,000 in eastern Idaho.

Police learned of the threat late on Monday through comments made on a social networking website, said Rigby Police Chief Keith Hammon.

Hammon said an investigation revealed the student had a list of classmates and local law enforcement officers he wished to harm, likely with handguns. He said police had found guns, ammunition and knives in a bag at the boy's home.

It was unclear when the attack was planned and police declined to say how many names were on the list. The suspected plot may have been linked to bullying or harassment of the boy, Hammon said.

Law enforcement and school officials met on Tuesday with parents of students believed to have been the intended targets.

Hammon said members of the community were mystified by the possibility that "a normal kid, a good student" could have contemplated such an attack.

There has been heightened concern in the United States over school safety since a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Kevin Gray)

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