A Harker Heights parent said his child was threatened with a knife by another student last week.

The incident, which school officials said is still under investigation, follows a spate of public reports of students being caught with weapons on Killeen Independent School District campuses.

Steven Spillman told the Herald the incident took place Friday between his son, a freshman, and another student at Harker Heights High School. Spillman said there was a verbal altercation between the two students that escalated.

The confrontation ended with the student allegedly pulling a knife on his son, Spillman said. “The boy pulled the knife and told my son he was going to stab him with it.”

As of Tuesday, Spillman said he was told the student is no longer on campus, but only after he said he wrangled with several school and district officials.

“I had to rattle some cages,” Spillman said. “My son was a victim, and I didn’t want to just stand aside.”

Killeen ISD issued a statement from Superintendent Robert Muller, which stated the matter was still under investigation.

“The district considers such alleged incidents seriously and will respond in accordance” with state law and district policy, Muller said.

According to previous reports confirmed by the district, Friday’s incident marked the fifth time a student has brought a weapon to a Killeen ISD campus in 2014. In one of the incidents, the gun was a fake, school officials said.

Three of those incidents, including the one involving Spillman’s son, occurred at one of the district’s high schools.

On Jan. 30, 17-year-old Jonathon Allen Hampton was arrested after Killeen ISD police said they searched a backpack in his locker and found a .22-caliber pistol, ammunition and a ski mask. On March 26, school officials confiscated a weapon from a student at Charles Patterson Middle School. That student was a minor and was not identified by the district or police.

On April 4, Killeen ISD police searched a backpack belonging to 17-year-old Killeen High School student Brandon Tiontre Woods and found a .38-caliber pistol. Just three days later, police took a Killeen ISD student into custody at Palo Alto Middle School for possession of an “imitation” gun designed to shoot blanks, according to a letter sent to Palo Alto parents. The student’s name was not made public by the district or police.

Spillman said Tuesday he was aware of the previous incidents.

“It’ a bad trend,” he said. “You can only speculate what the source of it is.” Spillman said the trend is not unique to the Killeen area.

“I don’t think that’s confined to our community,” he said. “It could happen to any student.”

Questions about whether the Killeen school district has taken extra security measures in light of the recent incidents were not directly addressed in Muller’s statement to the Herald.

“The district and Harker Heights High School campus continue to place student and staff safety as a top priority,” Muller said in the statement.

The Copperas Cove Independent School District did not respond to requests for information by presstime.

Contact Chris McGuinness at chrism@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.

(3) comments


I get that there are some students out of control, but why punish the ones that are not? I don't believe they should close the campus for lunch. That would be sending a message to the kids that have done nothing wrong that they are being punished for others mishaps. I feel that if a student is a problem at the campus, then shutting them down individually would be a good idea. If more than the amount of students get in a car, then they need to take responsibility for their actions. I believe there should be a HHPD officer in that area during those times. Kids are going to get drugs if they want it, not just at School.

Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er

Unfortunately, schools are becoming a battle zone...where are we safe.
School districts should install walk thru metal detectors. Yes, it would be cost and time consuming...our children's lives are worth any means to keep them safe in school.
Campuses should be closed at lunch time. Students don't have enough time to go to lunch and eat without rushing back to school.
This would eliminate a lot of problems...tardies and students not returning to school after lunch. Not to mention the opportunity for drug use.
Seems like drugs are a big problem too. How often are police dogs used on campus.
I think it is time to get serious...we are no longer...back in the day.
The attitude...it won't happen here is no longer valid. Look what happened at Ft. Hood, not once, but twice.


From listening to several 'children' that go to Heights High school through the years. And they all told the same story at times just different persons telling it.
I believe that more supervision should be arranged for the children when they are near campus, such as in the mornings before school begins. Or,
The children are on campus or in near by areas, such as across the street at restaurants . or any of the shops which attract and tempt these people especially during the lunch period.

Too ,thought should be given to not allowing the lunch periods to be fulfilled off campus.

When parents send their children to school, Many aren't aware, that during the day, they're child may be in another child's car going to one of the fast food restaurants to eat lunch.
I observed a car myself yesterday, pulling into a restaurant where 8 teenage girls piled out of a car that was being driven by another teenage girl.
The number of persons inside the auto for one thing is against state law plus dangerous.
When there's that many teenagers together and all of them are talking at the same time. The driver can become distracted.

Many parents aren't aware of what's going on once their child leaves for school, It might be helpful for them to take a drive around the school area during the morning before school starts and during lunch period.
They might be surprised at some of the behavior ,not of all but a few.
When a person is still legally certified as a child. They have to have close supervision at times.

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