Friends Say Attleboro High School Columbine Threat Was A ‘Joke’

ATTLEBORO (CBS) – Friends of the two Attleboro men arrested in connection with Facebook postings in which they talked about shooting up the high school say it is all a big mistake.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Karen Twomey reports

Former Attleboro High students Natick Sands, 18, and Ryan Ringuette, 20 were arrested Monday and charged with threatening the use of a dangerous weapon at a school.

They were arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Attleboro District Court and each ordered held on $7,500 bail.

Police were alerted after another student who currently attends the school saw these posts on Facebook.

Sands: “And people wonder why I talk about random mass killing sprees all the time…FED UP.”

Ringuette: “Im with u.”

Sands: “one day man.”

Ringuette: “Columbine ove again.”

Sands: “only if I can take the first shots, you know I get **** poppin lol”

Police say they had no choice but to act, even though there was no imminent danger to anyone at the school.

No weapons were recovered and there’s no evidence that the two were even trying to acquire them.

But their friends say, referring to Columbine, the April 1999 attack in Colorado where two teens killed a dozen students and a teacher, was thoughtless and sick.

“It was basically just a joke gone wrong,” Ryan Gomes told reporters outside court Tuesday.

“People look at things like this every day and I see things like this all the time. It’s just people expressing themselves in the wrong way. It was stupid for what they said, but it was a joke. I’ve known both of them for like ten years and I know none of them would ever, ever do something like this in (my) whole entire life.”

If convicted, they could face three years in prison.

This incident comes just a week after a high school student in Ohio killed 3 classmates.

  • George Bush

    Or just ask Rob’s entire family.

  • Willow

    Looks like the joke is on them. These are dangerous times we live in and any threat that isn’t taken seriously can ultimately mean tragedy. There are other things to joke about, killing students is not one of them.

  • dan

    it’s all a misunderstand until it happens

  • George Bush

    Making threats is a crime, still they should not get punished the same as somebody that actually was found to have bombs, guns and an actual desire to commit the crime. 3 years in jail for being stupid is too much, but they deserve some punishment.

  • thor's hammer

    who’s sorry now. no sympathy. we can’t have lesser degrees of punishment, just because it was a joke, or some other excuse. actions have consequences. if they are given a short sentence, then community service must be in the thousand(s) of hours of time to be served, at something that really makes them work, not some simple slap on the wrist 200 hours nonsense. it must be manual and meaningful.

  • Tyler Pesce

    Ryan gomes was correct. This was a joke gone bad. If you have ever been a student and will say “i never joked around about doing something stupid to a teacher that i had no intentions of doing” you’re lying.

    These kids are stupid, not hardened criminals. No guns were found. No attempt at getting a weapon was found, anything other than probation will be ridiculous. 1000 hours of community service? You are going completely overboard there. All the police have is empty threats jokingly put over facebook… Hardly a crime.

    Are we also overlooking the fact that teachers + employees aren’t allowed to add students over facebook/myspace/anything? That would indeed be against the law. Unless attleboro police have the man power to patrol facebook 24/7, which i highly doubt.

  • KL, LLC

    These miscreants thinking that posting they would create ‘another Colombine’ was their idea of ‘A Joke’?

    Give me a break.

    Inferred threats of causing, or willingness to inflict bodily harm, injury, or death to another person is a felony offense in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Good luck to these two bozos. First amendment won’t protect you here.

  • Tyler Pesce

    To be fair, i’m personal friends with both of them and it was a joke. Neither of them ever had any intention of going through with it.

    • Willow

      Tyler, that may be so, but how often have we heard the same thing from friends of people who have actually done such an awful deed? Because so many innocent people have been killed on a whim such as this, and threats weren’t taken seriously, the laws have had to change to take every threat very seriously. I’m sorry for you and that your friends may well be in a lot of trouble.

      • Tyler Pesce

        Believe me, i’m not saying they should of done it. If you’re going to say it in real life that’s different, but they were stupid for putting it on fb. Like i said, this was a joke. They shouldn’t of put it up, but they shouldn’t of blown it out of proportion. It’s stupid 18 year old kids, i know FOR A FACT that they had no intentions of doing it. Look at ryan crying, natick doesn’t want this. Natick was trying to clean his act up. Ryan was never in any serious trouble.

    • gramps

      They both have records…&…you’re their friend?

      Well that makes you a accessory B/4 the fact!

      ‘Dirt bag’…


      I’d be worried every time the door bell rings.

      • Tyler Pesce

        I’ve been in contact with them. I am no accessory to anything. Stop assuming things, it makes an ass out of you and me.

        Ignorant moron.

  • 1stackmack

    place rim shot here..

  • 1stackmack

    oh,it was joke was it.ok.l got a joke.who gets to spend 20 yrs with a ex hells angel nick named. a cell do…don’t drop the soap.

  • Kenna Beech

    i’ve known ryan for a long time now, and chill with him all the time. hes a sweetheart, and would never intentionally hurt somone. everyones shocked at the actions that were taken, it was a joke. I understand all the other incidents that have happened, and why people would be mad, It was just a joke said in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    • dan

      this is post 9-11-2001 nothing is a joke anymore

      • George Bush

        Dan, that is what Bin Laden wanted, he even said so. “I want to bankrupt America and take away their freedoms” he said. So please don’t overreact and support more taking of our freedoms and turning this into a police state.

  • 1608

    18 & 20. If my 3 though like that, would be in jail today.

  • emom

    A JOKE ,, REALLY ARE YOU FREAKIN SERIOUS,,,,,,, Lets put it this way,,, What if someone said I was going to hurt someone you loved near and dear to you and your family,,, HOW IN THE HECK WOULD YOU FEEL THEN,, would you believe they were only “JOKING” NO SORRY you would take that threat extremely serious and feel threatened for your life as well as that of your family and your friends…
    SORRY YOU THREATEN ANYONE ITS STILL A THREAT , They should pay a hefty price for their “SO CALLED JOKING & KIDDING” No one should feel Like they have to look over their shoulders , If it was me I would want justice…. friend or no friend it is WRONG on so many levels,,,,
    They always say they were kidding,, To many end up following thru,,,,now they must face their punishment…..

  • Hugh T. Faulk

    Toilet papering a car is a joke. Shaving your friends eyebrow off is a bad joke. Putting a used diaper under someone’s car seat is a real stinker of a joke. HOWEVER…

    Posting threats of committing a massacre are not something to joke about. Ever. In fact, it’s criminal. It’s like going into a crowded theater and yelling ‘FIRE!’ to incite panic, and or physical and mental harm to others.

    And Mr.Tyler Pesce (a.k.a. Dumb-ass) your comment just implicated you. The party van is going to be coming for you real soon. Enjoy your hands-on learning experience in criminal law and court procedure.

  • DoverDavid

    Just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should. There is a difference in making a passing comment and having a continous conversation about killing. There have been countless stories of how social media has some back and to bite someone on the rump, and kids should be more aware of that than anyone else. Smarten up and take responsibility for your actions. How many times have you heard others describe a man or woman, who has just comitted a horrible crime as being nice, sweet, quiet, etc.

  • Someone better

    I’m really proud of my cousins here. #sarcasm

  • dan


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