The North Scott Junior High School student who took a loaded handgun to school last week appeared in juvenile court on Tuesday.
The student, who is 12, has not been identified. The child has been charged with attempted murder and carrying a gun on school property, both felonies. No one was injured in the incident, and the weapon was described as a loaded .22 caliber handgun.
Dion Trowers, who is handling the case for the Scott County Attorney's office, said a detention hearing was held Tuesday "to determine what is the appropriate placement for the child."
A formal petition has been filed, he said, along with a motion to waive the child as a youthful offender. Another hearing will be set to decide whether to try the case in juvenile or adult court.
"If the child is waived up to district court as a youthful offender, they are considered as an adult for those charges, and their court proceedings occur in district under the same guidelines as an adult," Trowers explained in an email. "They will have their trial in district and, if found guilty or they plead guilty, they are sent back down to juvenile court for supervision.
"The child must have a review or sentencing hearing in district court before their 18th birthday."
Upon becoming an adult, the offender could be sentenced to more probation, to prison, or the case could be dismissed, he said.
Also to be determined is the child's detention status. There is no bond in juvenile court, and the judge will decide what is appropriate for the child.
In addition, the response by police and school staff to the threat is being reviewed, and the public is being advised to be skeptical of information posted on social media.
Police Chief David Kopatich and North Scott Superintendent Joe Stutting on Tuesday thanked middle school staffers, along with Eldridge police and the Scott County Sheriff's Department for their handling of the incident.
The district implemented its safety plan Friday, the chief and superintendent said, saying extra counselors and more police presence were added Tuesday. Later in the week, the incident will be analyzed, they said, along with the response to it and the procedures and policies that were implemented.
Asked about certain rumored details of the incident, Kopatich said now is not the time to reveal evidence in the case.
"Eventually, down the road, we'll be able to disclose what happened," he said.
Also forthcoming, he said, is a potentially helpful review of the events.
"I think this is something, eventually, we'll be able to share with other school districts," he said of the combined reactions to the incident. "Did this (firearm response) just look good on paper? Did it work?"
Tuesday's joint news release by Kopatich and Stutting contained the following warning: "We would caution everyone that much of what has been posted on social media is not accurate.
"We would like to ask our community to refrain from speculating about this incident on social media."