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A 15-year-old boy accused of opening fire at a Two Rocks school will be allowed to return to his parents’ house after the state confirmed there were no longer guns at the property, “and there will hopefully never be” again.
The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested in May after allegedly taking two rifles to Atlantis Beach Baptist College and firing three rounds from the school’s car park, sending terrified teachers and students into lockdown.
The teenager leaving Perth Children’s Court with his family on Wednesday. Credit: 9 News Perth
On Tuesday during the boy’s fourth court appearance in Perth Children’s Court, his defence lawyer requested further time to consider the charges against him and for his bail to be altered so the teen could return to his family home.
The boy has been residing in a secure youth hostel since his arrest.
The boy’s lawyer argued his mother was willing to quit her job to supervise him full-time, and his father, who is a fly-in, fly-out worker would also be available to watch him when he was off shift.
Prosecutor Brad Hollingsworth said the state initially had concerns about the youth being bailed to his parent’s house, but accepted he had behaved appropriately since being at the hostel.
“It’s a credit to the parents they’ve done everything they can to get to grips on what’s happening in their family and what’s happening with [their son],” he said.
“The family is a stranger to the criminal justice system … therefore we should be cautious [with his bail arrangements], and [youth bail services] should remain involved.
“There are no firearms in that house, and there will hopefully never be any more firearms in that house.”
Acting Magistrate Stephen Wilson decided the parents were in a position to adequately care for their son, amending his bail to allow him to reside at home and only leave the property if he is with a responsible adult.
“The [youth] report indicates he doesn’t need to be in the hostel anymore … remaining there would be counterproductive to the work that’s been done,” he said.
“In the event there is an incident … [the parents] have support of local police and other agencies.”
The teen’s bail conditions mean he is not allowed any unsupervised access to a smartphone, and is banned from going within 100 metres of Atlantis Beach Baptist College.
He is also not allowed access to firearms.
During an earlier hearing, the court was told the boy allegedly told friends in the weeks and days before the shooting that he was going to “shoot up the school”.
“The friends did not believe him,” Hollingsworth said.
“It no doubt sounded unbelievable, but he clearly did have that intent because he did.”
Hollingsworth said police allegedly found a concerning search history on the boy’s phone, including internet searches for firearms, shooting incidents in the US, what solitary confinement was like and education options in juvenile detention centres.
Just four days before he allegedly shot at the school, the boy is accused of speaking about US school shootings to a friend.
He also allegedly told a friend not to go to school on the day he intended to shoot at it and, on the day of the incident, checked in with two friends to find out what class they were in.
The court was also told that, after allegedly firing three rounds at the school, the boy called triple zero and, acting “cool, calm and collected”, told an operator he intended to kill people and himself but stopped because he didn’t want his siblings to be “the brother or sister of a killer”.
He allegedly used a key to unlock his father’s gun safe, gaining access to two “old-fashioned” rifles, a Savage .243 calibre rifle and a Savage .22 calibre rifle, that were both legally registered to his father.
The teen, who is yet to enter a plea, is due to next appear in court on August 9.
He has been charged with driving without authority, three counts of possessing a firearm, discharging a firearm to the danger or fear of others, possessing a prohibited weapon and doing an unlawful act with intent to harm.
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