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Press Releases - County Council

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 18, 2024

Today, we learned about a potential incident of school violence that was deterred due to the great work and collaboration between the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD), Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This investigation occurred due to a tip from an unnamed source – who should be considered a hero because they ‘saw something and said something’ and likely saved lives.

Although this potential incident was prevented, we know that this news may cause anxiety within our school communities. In the short term, MCPD has increased its presence at Wootton High School and will do so at other schools as warranted. We advise families needing assistance coping with the trauma this incident may cause to access help through the County’s Crisis Center Hotline at 240-777-4000.

MCPD, MCPS, and the Office of the State’s Attorney, working with the federal law enforcement offices, will continue investigating this case. However, one thing is already clear: the suspect pointed to lack of access to a firearm as a key factor in preventing the individual from taking action. Maryland gun laws provide an essential barrier against individuals with a significant history of mental illness and violent ideations from obtaining firearms.

This incident is a somber reminder that we must continue to focus on the mental health of our youth and young adults. We will continue our investments, partnerships, and collaborations with MCPS, Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Health teams, and crisis response experts. Additionally, we are working to expand our communications and engagement efforts with students, parents, teachers, and families of young adults throughout the County to ensure that they know where and how to get help when needed. 

Saturday, April 20th, is the 25th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. We must recognize the important role each of us can play in supporting safety and security for all people. When we work collaboratively, we set an example that others will follow to ensure that our children, and indeed our residents, are safe in school, the workplace, and at home.

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Release ID: 24-152
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926
Categories: Andrew Friedson, Sidney Katz, Will Jawando