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Indian River student who brought rifle to class charged with attempted murder

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A 15-year-old student who allegedly brought a rifle to class at Indian River Central High School on Jan. 15 has been charged by Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies with second-degree attempted murder.

The youth’s name was not disclosed by deputies. District Attorney Cindy F. Intschert said he is presently being prosecuted as an adult under special provisions afforded youthful offenders. She was unable to comment further.

Science teacher Robert M. Kuba has been credited with averting tragedy by disarming the youth who allegedly displayed the gun in an afternoon earth science class. The rifle was brought into the classroom in its case underneath a blanket. According to Mr. Kuba’s account of the incident, the youth told him he wanted to show the class an experiment on conduction, a subject the class had covered the week before.

The student brought the covered case to the front of the room to an instructional table and leaned down to get the rifle. When Mr. Kuba recognized it was a gun, he grabbed the rifle’s barrel, pointed it away from students and, with his other hand, pushed the youth away from the weapon. He then led the student to the back of the classroom, put him in the chemical storage room and called the main office.

A sheriff’s detective said shortly after the incident that the youth told him he had been planning to bring the gun to the school for months and had a “very detailed plan,” but could provide no further details. No one was injured.

The student was arraigned in County Court and was ordered held without bail pending grand jury action. Mrs. Intschert was not able to say where he is being held, but said that he is being held at a facility that will enable him to receive an appropriate medical and psychological diagnosis and treatment.

The investigation is ongoing and no further information was immediately available.

Mr. Kuba was presented the state Senate Liberty Award on Jan. 31 for his heroic actions. Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, presented the award, which is considered one of the highest civilian honors a New York resident can receive. According to the state Senate website, the honor is awarded to people who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.

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