A teen has been charged in connection with a threat that prompted Belleville East and Belleville West High Schools to close on Wednesday.

Derek Burton, 18, is charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of threat and one count of a threat against a school or a person.

Police said Burton’s mother called police around 1:00 a.m., telling them that her son had made suicidal threats and had left home. She also said her gun was missing.

Officers then started searching for Burton and discovered that he had made threats against students at Belleville East High School, police said.

Police said they learned that he confronted several people in the parking lot of a Circle K in Shiloh on Tuesday, pointed a gun at them and made threats. Some of those on the parking lot were Belleville East students.

Because police could not find him and because they were worried about the safety of the students, they called district officials and recommended that school be called off.

Burton was later found in Shiloh and arrested. The missing gun was later found at his mother’s home, police said.

Police believe Burton returned the weapon home and left again but they do know if his mother knew he had returned the gun.

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