A Big Foot High School student accused of having a loaded rifle in his vehicle in the school parking lot had made comments about harming himself or others, according to a criminal complaint filed in Walworth County Court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors charged Kyle P. Higgins, 18, of N927 Ridge Road, Walworth, with possession of a firearm—a .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle—on school grounds, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of marijuana. The first charge is a felony.
A student reported to the school resource officer Feb. 24 that Higgins had bought a firearm the day before, according to the complaint.
The student said Higgins had made comments in the past about self-harm. The student also told the officer Higgins had said he “did not want to have to harm someone,” the complaint states.
The officer spoke with Higgins’ mother, who said he had been acting out and making threats, according to the complaint. She had heard rumors that he was showing a knife and gun to students at school, but she did not know he owned a firearm.
When the officer and school officials spoke with Higgins, he told them he had purchased the rifle the day before, the complaint states. The officer searched Higgins’ locker but did not find anything.
Higgins let police search his car in the high school parking lot, and police reported finding a rifle loaded with five cartridges, a box of .22-caliber ammunition inside the center console and marijuana, according to the complaint.
After writing a letter to parents and students Feb. 26 that the gun had been found two days before, District Administrator Doug Parker said he would not have sent the letter if not for social media and rumors circulating in the community. He said he wanted to respect people’s privacy.
He also said there was no imminent danger, but if there had been, proper notice would have gone out immediately.
Higgins made his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. Monday, March 16.