Mom Who Warned Police of Son’s School Shooting Plan Facing Charges

Prosecutors say the woman prematurely removed her son from a mental health facility and took him off prescription medication.

Mom Who Warned Police of Son’s School Shooting Plan Facing Charges

The mother of a teen who exchanged gunfire with police at his former school before taking his own life has turned herself into investigators, according to Indiana State Police.

On Dec. 13, 2018, Mary York called police to tell them her 14-year-old had taken her boyfriend hostage at gunpoint and was threatening to shoot up Dennis Intermediate School, the New York Times reports.

The former student went to the Richmond school armed with a rifle, a pistol, ammunition, two bottles filled with gasoline, rags for Molotov cocktails and a handwritten plan.

Police officers were waiting at the school when the boy arrived but he was able to enter the building by shooting out a glass door. He then shot at officers six times from a stairwell inside the school.

Principal Nicole Vandervort provided updates to police officers of the boy’s movements while watching surveillance video. The boy then used the seventh round to take his own life. No officers, students or staff were injured.

According to an affidavit filed Friday by prosecutors in Wayne County, York prematurely removed her son from a mental health facility, took him off prescription medication because he said it made him feel weird, and did not tell police that he fired a handgun inside their home in Oct. 2018, according to The Richmond Palladium-Item.

The affidavit recommends six felony charges against York, including one count of dangerous control of a child and five counts of neglecting a dependent. It also recommends one misdemeanor count of criminal recklessness.

In April, York told WISH-TV that the guns used in the shooting belonged to her then-boyfriend and were kept locked up in the house. She also said her son was depressed and anxious due to bullying he allegedly endured as a student at Dennis Intermediate.

Several months before the shooting, the boy was admitted to a mental health facility. York said when he was released to her, the facility said “nothing was wrong.”

“They’re blaming me and my son, but they need to be blaming the school system and this medical facility that let me take him out,” she said. “I tried everything I could to stop him.

Medical records show the boy said he heard voices telling him to kill students who bullied him.

In an interview Monday with WXIN, York said she did not see warning signs or believe her son was capable of carrying out a school shooting.

About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy’s mother, brother, sister-in-law and a handful of cousins are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband, her son and her dog.

Read More Articles Like This… With A FREE Subscription

Campus Safety magazine is another great resource for public safety, security and emergency management professionals. It covers all aspects of campus safety, including access control, video surveillance, mass notification and security staff practices. Whether you work in K-12, higher ed, a hospital or corporation, Campus Safety magazine is here to help you do your job better!

Get your free subscription today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Online SummitCampus Safety HQ