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Belleville high schools closed, arrest made over ‘credible threat’ to students

Belleville West High School is about 10 miles west of East St. Louis Senior High.
File | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Belleville police arrested a male student Wednesday morning they considered a threat to other Belleville East High School students.

Belleville Township High School Superintendent Jeff Dosier canceled what was supposed to be the last day of school at both East and West campuses around 6:30 a.m. Police notified the district of the threat, which Dosier said police considered to be “credible.”

Just before 8 a.m., Belleville police said they arrested an 18-year-old man they identified only as “Burton.”

According to a police statement, the suspect’s mother notified police early Wednesday that her son was having relationship problems with a girl, a current student at Belleville East High School, and made suicidal comments before leaving the house. She then discovered her handgun missing.

“Information obtained from other individuals disclosed the subject was possibly planning to confront his girlfriend and other students at the East campus,” Belleville police said in a Facebook post. The man was taken into custody without incident.

Other media outlets reported heavy police presence at the high schools this morning. A SWAT team was seen entering the East building, though no students were inside.

Final exams are expected to resume tomorrow, Dosier said.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @rpatrickdelaney

Ryan was an education reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.

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