Westmont threat suspect had weapon near school
Feb. 18—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A teenage girl detained early Feb. 6 for threatening Westmont Hilltop schools was allegedly caught with a firearm near the elementary school after posting a note there, police radio calls indicate.
Audio information from a police officer who allegedly took the weapon as evidence showed that the suspect was a 14-year-old girl who is now facing juvenile charges.
A separate Cambria County 911 call log reviewed by The Tribune-Democrat on Friday also indicated that police considered the incident a potentially life-threatening emergency at one point during the pursuit, leading a West Hills Regional officer to request backup.
According to a Feb. 6 school district message to parents, an overnight custodian at the elementary school contacted authorities after hearing a loud noise around 2 a.m. and discovering a broken window and note. Shortly thereafter, the juvenile was arrested.
The 14-year-old also allegedly left a threatening note at the high school on Jan. 30 that led to an early dismissal that day and cancellation of classes the next two school days.
Cambria County District Attorney Gregory Neugebauer has previously declined to comment on whether a weapon was recovered when the suspect was apprehended or if there was an imminent threat to the school district. He has repeatedlycited juvenile law restrictions, saying only that multiple felony charges were filed.
School officials have also declined to discuss specifics.
Some Westmont parents have repeatedly expressed their displeasure with the DA’s and school officials’ inability to share more information outside of the fact that the threat at the high school and the broken window at the elementary were both allegedly perpetrated by the same person.
At the school board’s Feb. 9 committee meeting and Feb. 16 regular meeting, some parents criticized the board for a lack of transparency and requested more proactive moves by district leaders.