By Michael Howell
Adam Michael Chambers, an 18 year old student at Hamilton High School, was arrested last week for allegedly threatening to take his father’s automatic rifle to the high school graduation ceremony and shoot students.
According to Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman, a 911 call was made alleging that Chambers had made the threat and both Ravalli County Sheriff’s Deputies and Hamilton City Police responded to the call. Hoffman said that, contrary to some initial news reports, Chambers did not try to turn himself in to a local crisis center and get rejected. Hoffman said that Chambers was taken to the crisis center by city police and was met there by a sheriff’s deputy. He said once the jurisdictional questions were straightened out, Chambers was booked into the Ravalli County Detention Center where he was evaluated and is receiving the care he needs.
Chambers was picked up a few hours before the graduation ceremony at the high school on Sunday and was in custody of law enforcement from that time on. Sheriff Hoffman said it was determined that Chambers had no weapon in his possession nor did he have access to one. School officials were notified and the graduation ceremony was held without incident.
Sheriff Hoffman called the incident a “non-event.” He said law enforcement was notified and responded appropriately to the situation. He said it was determined that the threat to the students at graduation was negligible with the suspect in custody and the ceremony was held without incident.
Hamilton School District Superintendent Tom Korst had high praise for the response by law enforcement.
“The school was notified,” said Korst. “We were told that the student allegedly making the threats was in custody and presented no actual threat, so we continued with our ceremony as planned. It’s a testament to the person who reported it and to the law enforcement’s response. That’s how things are supposed to work.”
Charging documents state that Chambers told officers he had been depressed for months, had an “extreme hatred” for the students at Hamilton High and sometimes felt “the need to murder them all.” He faces felony charges of assault by intimidation, coercion or threat and is being held on a $250,000 bond. His initial hearing is scheduled for June 17.