Between 3-8-17 and 3-28-17, five notes have been found in bathrooms at Flagstaff High School. The notes indicated or inferred that there would be a “Columbine” type incident at Flagstaff High School. The notes were found by school staff and students. The first note that was found and reported indicated that the incident would happen in March. This time frame has passed without incident. Later notes continued to mention the anniversary of Columbine, April 20th, but then a subsequent note stated this would not be the date. One of the notes indicated the incident would occur after April 20, 2017 but before May 1, 2017. In the last note April 26th was listed as the day it would happen.
Throughout this time Police and School Officials have been working together to gather information and maintain safety. The Flagstaff Police Department has and will continue to provide a high visibility presence at the school. A School Resource Officer has been assigned to work at Flagstaff High School full time during school hours throughout the next several weeks to enhance school safety. As the investigation proceeds Police and School Officials felt compelled to advise the public of these two dates. The Police Department will also have a heightened presence on both April 20th and April 26th. We are asking the public to be extra vigilant on these dates and report anything suspicious to the police department immediately.
Other than the threatening notes themselves there is no other information indicating the threats are credible. Dozens of leads have been pursued and these crimes continue to be actively investigated. Although some of the information listed above could potentially limit the investigative avenues the time has come where public safety interests outweigh the necessity withholding some specific details in reference to this case.
This incident is under investigation as a crime. According to ARS 13-2911, a person commits interference with or disruption of an educational institution by intentionally, knowingly or recklessly disrupting an educational institution by threatening to cause physical injury to any person at the school, or by threatening to cause damage to the facility or property at the school. These threats are being taken very seriously and investigated as a felony crime.
We are asking anyone with information in regard to the individual(s) responsible for the incidents to contact police. Tips provided through Silent Witness which lead to the arrest could provide the caller with up to $5,000.00 for their assistance. Police are encouraging students who have information to come forward. Please call Detective Barreras at (928)679-4055 or Silent Witness at (928)774-6111 if you have information.
Sgt. Cory C. Runge Karin Eberhard
Flagstaff Police Department Flagstaff Unified School District