Arizona ramps up response to school threats after Florida shooting
PHOENIX — At least three students across Arizona have been arrested for having a firearm in their possession on campus in the week since 17 people were shot and killed at a Florida high school.
In addition, officials at three different high schools in the state have investigated incidents regarding threats of violence made against the school during that same time period.
Scottsdale police said on Wednesday an 18-year-old student at Coronado High School was arrested for disorderly conduct after a photo of him holding an assault rifle with the message “don’t go to school tomorrow” made the rounds on social media.
Fabian A. Delgado was questioned by police about the post. He told officers that the weapon was an air soft rifle and that he had no intention of harming any students or school officials.
The Prescott Valley Police Department said in a press release that officers responded to reports of threats made by a 15-year-old student at Bradshaw Mountain High School on Tuesday.
A different student, who also was not identified, reported the incident after overhearing a “conversation where the threats were made.”
The alleged suspect said “I might as well shoot up the school and take out as many people as possible because there is no point in living.”
But when the student was questioned by detectives, he said the comments were “dark jokes” and that he had no intention of carrying out the alleged threats. The investigation is ongoing and the student has not yet been charged.
Another incident involved a 16-year-old Chino Valley High School student who was referred him for a mental health evaluation and treatment for allegedly threatening to shoot up his school on Wednesday.
Students told school officials about the potential threat at 8:50 a.m. Wednesday, leading authorities to place an officer at the school all day.
An officer also was placed at the teen’s current school in Prescott, where he was detained. He had no weapons on him.
Lt. Vincent Schaan said the teen told authorities he jokingly made statements to other students more than a month ago about opening fire at the school.
Authorities also interviewed the teen’s ex-girlfriend. Police said she received messages from him Tuesday that led some to believe an attack would occur at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Phoenix-area students arrested for gun possession on campus
Those three developments were the latest in a string of arrests involving students possessing guns on campus in the days after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz allegedly shot and killed 17 people at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The first arrest came on Feb. 15, when 18-year-old Justin Perotti was arrested for allegedly having a gun in his car, which was parked the grounds of Chaparral High School in Scottsdale.
The second incident occurred just one day later, when a 16-year-old student was arrested for allegedly bringing a loaded handgun to Sierra Linda High School in Phoenix.
And on Wednesday, 18-year-old Michael Helt was arrested on suspicion of having a gun in his car that was parked on the grounds of Liberty High School in Peoria.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.