Liz Kellar

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June 13, 2013
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Boy, 13, investigated for firecracker devices at Nevada City school

Administrators with the Nevada City School District alerted parents Wednesday that a Seven Hills Middle School student allegedly had made explosive devices, selling several to at least one other student.

The incident was initially reported to the Nevada City Police department Sunday, but it was determined to be a Sheriff’s Office case because both boys lived in the county, said Sheriff’s Capt. Jeff Pettitt.

A 13-year-old boy had purchased three “small firecracker explosive-type devices” from another 13-year-old boy for about $5 approximately two weeks ago, Pettitt said.

Pettitt said the boy apparently had taken apart several small firecrackers and then packed the gunpowder into a lip balm tube with a fuse. According to the phone message sent out by the school district, there also were devices that were contained in 2-inch plastic cubes.

The boy who bought the devices showed them to his mother, who confiscated them. The mother eventually decided to report them to the authorities because she found a “disturbing” story the boy had written referring to acts of violence, Pettitt said.

Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies interviewed the boy and his father, and the family turned over several firecrackers. The case was forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office and the Probation Department for review, Pettitt said.

“Any time you play with firecrackers, there’s a potential for injury,” he said.

School District Superintendent Roxanne Gilpatric said in the message she sent out Wednesday that there was a concern that some students might have unknowingly brought devices home with them, and urged anyone with information to contact her or law enforcement.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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The Union Updated Jun 13, 2013 11:21PM Published Jun 17, 2013 07:03AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.