Sunday, January 28, 2001

Rumors of 'hit list' alarm school

The Associated Press

        SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. — More than half of the 900 students at a Bullitt County high school left Friday or stayed home due to rumors that a school gang had made a hit list and planned to shoot students at lunch time.

        Principal Bob Korwatch said it was the third consecutive Friday that rumors of a possible shooting swept through North Bullitt High School. At least 500 students left on Friday, school officials said.

        Hillview Police Chief Steve Jesse said his department was unable to find any evidence of a threat to the students.

        Several students said a gang called the Eastside Untouchables created a hit list several weeks ago and claimed it would shoot students in the cafeteria between 11 a.m. and noon Friday.

        The rumors at North Bullitt began shortly after a group of students formed a gang five weeks ago, Mr. Korwatch said. The students were not involved in “any of the unseemly activities gangs are associated with,” but another student thought it would be funny to invent a rival gang, he said.

        The student, whom Mr. Korwatch did not name, wrote out a list of students who would supposedly constitute the rival gang. This list became the source of rumors regarding a hit list.

        School officials, Hillview police and the Bullitt County Sheriff's Department have been investigating the gang and list, which a parent turned over to police.

        Dozens of parents flocked to the school Friday morning to pick up students.

        “They can say there is nothing to the rumors, but something could still happen,” said Shawna Salsman, as she took her daughter, Brittany Beichler, out of school. “I'm going to make sure she's safe.”


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