On February 28, 2018, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Phoenix Police investigated a threat received at a local high school in the area of 3900 East Bell Road. Several students reported to school administrators that another student was posting threats via a social media platform. The 17-year-old suspect posted an online threat indicating he would commit acts of violence and self-harm on the school campus. Officers located the suspect on campus and detained him without incident. No weapons were located as part of the investigation. The suspect made statements to investigators regarding his involvement in this incident. The suspect was detained at the Juvenile Court Center for one count of Interference with or Disruption of an Educational Institution, a class 6 felony, and one count of Threats, a class one misdemeanor.
While this is just one of multiple threats made against our local schools in the past few weeks, it amplifies several key points that need to be heard and discussed within our community. First, we need to recognize the courage of those students who came forward when they saw something and said something. Second, school administrators coordinated swiftly with police to identify, locate, and detain the student before any physical harm could occur. Third, there is no justification for threatening our schools or our community. Disruption of our schools is a felony and will be investigated vigorously and result in serious consequences for those who engage in this conduct, regardless of their intent. Phoenix Police will spare no resources or effort to keep our children safe and hold anyone who threatens them fully accountable for their actions.
Please encourage your audiences to start a dialogue with their children about school and general safety. While police will aggressively investigate reports of criminal conduct, the solution to this growing problem is everyone’s responsibility. If you or someone you know is struggling, take action. Help them find the services they need before their behavior escalates into disruptive or violent acts.