Hillsborough fifth-grader investigated for student kill list

TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. (WFLA) – As the bell sounded on Friday the 13th, something more than reading, writing and arithmetic unfolded at Lewis Elementary School. According to Temple Terrace police, a fifth-grader maliciously poured an unknown substance into another student’s water bottle.

The victim came in from outside and took a drink from her water bottle, officials said. She told the teacher it tasted funny. The teacher told her to throw it out.

It wasn’t until days later that they found out what allegedly happened. According to investigators, another student informed the victim the suspect poured bleach in her water. Once it learned of the incident, the school district contacted police.

The victim’s mother told 8 On Your Side by phone she has since learned the fifth-grader in question planned the incident for Friday the 13th. The victim’s mom also said the suspected fifth-grader has a kill list in a notebook.

The school district has removed the student in question while law enforcement investigates.

Principal Delilah Rabeiro called parents when she learned of a threat against her students. “Temple Terrace police and the state attorney’s office are investigating. We have identified the student involved, and law enforcement and the state attorney’s office are handling the situation,” the principal’s message said.

Three of Joe Shaughnessy’s children attend Lewis. “Now that I’m getting the information that I’m getting I feel they could have been a little more transparent about the situation, more than just a vague voice mail or text message,” Shaughnessy said.

The victim’s mother also questioned the transparency. She claimed that before learning of the incident, the school nurse called to see how her daughter was doing but did not disclose why she was asking.

Temple Terrace police will only confirm they are investigating and filed the case with the state attorney’s office.

Temple Terrace police filed the case with the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office.  Among the charges prosecutors are contemplating are attempted murder, and poisoning food or water with intent to kill or injure.

The victim’s mother hopes the child in question gets help but believes criminal charges are appropriate. “If a kid is intending to kill their classmate, that’s criminal,” she said.

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