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Prescott Valley Tribune | Prescott Valley, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news July 22, 2014

12/4/2013 6:00:00 AM
Teen arrested over alleged threats to shoot up or blow up school
Scott Orr
Special to the Tribune

PRESCOTT VALLEY- Police arrested a 15-year-old boy on Monday, alleging that he had 100 rounds of ammunition and was trying to obtain a handgun and instructions about how to make explosives, with a plan to attack a school, a police spokesman said.

The staff at Franklin Phonetic School reported receiving threatening emails on Nov. 22, and police had been investigating those when, on Monday, they received a "significantly more troubling email," PVPD Sgt. Brandon Bonney said. This email made reference to shooting up or bombing the school, he added, and alluded to gang activity, which police believe to be fictitious.

Police detectives worked with the Arizona State Gang Task Force and Arizona Counterterrorism Information Center to find the source of the emails and identify the sender, Bonney said.

Franklin Phonetic was locked down from 11:15 a.m. Monday until the last student left for the day.

"We did allow students to go from class to class," with staff supervision, Junior High Principal Becky Fitch said. Police did not think the email constituted an "immediate threat," she said, "but we still took it very seriously and locked down the campus."

Investigators traced the emails to a home in the 3100 block of Meadowlark Drive in Prescott Valley, and identified a 15-year-old boy as the sender.

During an interview with police, Bonney said, the boy "made several incriminating statements." Investigators found that he had about 100 rounds of ammunition and "was actively seeking a handgun to carry out the threats" he made by email, Bonney said.

The teen, apparently a past student at Franklin, also said he was "researching how to make a handgun and an explosive device," Bonney said, and he planned to shoot people at the school because he was angry with them.

He was booked into Yavapai County Juvenile Detention on one count each of hoax, threatening and intimidating, and disruption of an educational institution.

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