South Milwaukee HS student in custody for allegedly creating 'hit list' of students, staff

SOUTH MILWAUKEE -- A 15-year-old student from South Milwaukee High School is in police custody for allegedly creating a "hit list" that included the names of students and staff members. The student is being referred to municipal court for disorderly conduct.

"I'm really not too surprised about it because when I went there, there's things like that going on all the time," said Josh Gartzke, a former student.

South Milwaukee High School

The South Milwaukee Police Department fully investigated and determined that there was no credible threat to students or staff. Officials say contrary to some rumors, the school was never placed on "lockdown."

"They should have closed it just to be on the safe side. Send the kids home, I go, because nobody wants to lose a child," said Carolina Ramos, a parent.

School district officials alerted parents to this information in a letter emailed on Thursday, Nov. 14. It reads as follows:

I want to take this opportunity to reassure parents and students about the safety of South Milwaukee High School and share with you some brief information about an event that happened this morning.

It was reported to high school administration that a student created a “hit list” that included the names of students and staff members. When the list was discovered, we took it very seriously and involved the South Milwaukee Police Department. The SMPD’s investigation of this incident determined that there is no threat to student or staff safety. The student who produced the list is in custody.

This event represents a teachable moment for our children. We recognize that our young people may not understand the consequences of their actions. Please talk to your children about the seriousness of making any threat that pertains to the safety or security of our schools, our students, and our staff. Encourage them to talk to you or any staff member if they become aware of their friends making poor choices at school.

Children may mistakenly think that writing a “hit list” is funny or they may use it as a way to get attention. Help your son or daughter avoid choices that could compromise their future.

The School District of South Milwaukee takes threats such as this very seriously. Students who threaten school safety are subject to school discipline up to, and including expulsion. Students making threats such as this are also subject to arrest by the South Milwaukee Police Department.

Dr. Jeff Weiss