A Manchester High School student is facing charges and has been suspended over accusations he threatened to open fire in the school, according to police and the teenager's mother.
Police arrested Henry Suitter, 18, of Manchester, on Friday and charged him with threatening and breach of peace. He has also been suspended from school for five days.
Police released Suitter from custody and he spoke to NBC Connecticut at his home Monday night, saying the incident was a big misunderstanding.
Police said Suitter made the comment in one of his classes, prompting several students who overheard it to report it to the administration and his mother, Sandra Suitter, said it's being blown out of proportion.
Henry Suitter said he made the comment that got him into trouble while he was frustrated and muttered something he didn't mean, "not even loudly, just enough to say it."
"What happened was, a couple of students were arguing and I made a remark towards it and they shut me out of the conversation," Suitter said, speaking exclusively with NBC Connecticut. "And I got a little flustered and I didn’t really think. ... and I looked towards a friend and said, like I’d shoot up the classroom."
He said it "while everyone was talking and, then the room just went dead silent," Suitter said. "I'm just saying sorry for making a harsh remark out of rashness."
Manchester Superintendent Matt Geary said district officials "take all threats seriously" and student safety is a top priority, so when they learned of Suitter's remark, the school reported it to local police "and assessed the credibility of the threat."
He added that they "took precautions to make sure every student was safe and going forward we will continue to insure that."
"Student safety especially in today’s world is of the utmost importance and we take everything said or written seriously ... so, for us that’s where we are at this point.," Geary said.
Suitter's mother said her son regrets what he said and has apologized. She also said "he's been bullied ever since he started school there" and she's asked "for social workers to check in on him," but that nobody has.
"Now this whole thing is getting blown out of proportion," she said. "This is ridiculous, this stuff. ... Now they want to kick him out of school, which isn’t right because he’s never been in trouble ever before. ... I tell them he’s the kind of kid that holds things in. You get nothing."
She said that "everybody makes mistakes, everybody says something that they regret at times. Everybody."
"Kid made an honest mistake. It doesn’t need to get blown out of proportion this is ridiculous," Sandra Suitter said.
Meanwhile school officials have deemed that the high school students are safe and communicated the incident to parents.
"We’re very thorough and thoughtful in processes like this for students so in every case we will be thorough and thoughtful in our approach," Geary said.