11-year-old Surprise student arrested for threatening to bring a gun to school and kill others, police say
SURPRISE, Ariz. - An 11-year-old student in Surprise was arrested after he told another student he was going to bring a gun to school and kill others, the police department said.
The incident happened on the morning of Monday, Sept. 12 at Paradise Honors Middle School, says Sgt. Tommy Hale.
"Investigators learned the juvenile had told another student of his plan and that student helped to get the information to the school," Hale said.
The student was taken into custody before school began.
"Working in partnership with the school staff, Surprise Police were able to take the juvenile suspect into custody prior to the start of school day. The suspect admitted to making threats of violence and has been booked into the Durango Juvenile Detention Center for Making a Terroristic Threat, a Class 3 Felony, and Disorderly Conduct, a Class 1 Misdemeanor," Hale said.
Surprise Police Chief Benny Piña says he commends the other student for speaking up and that threats of violence won't be tolerated.
"Those who engage in this type of activity will be held fully accountable for their actions," Piña said.
Anyone with more information about this incident is asked to call Surprise Police at 623-222-4000 or 623-222-TIPS. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. Reference incident no. 220902273 when contacting police.
Multiple Arizona students have been detained as authorities continue to investigate a rash of threats that have been made at schools across the state in recent weeks.
A Paradise Honors Middle School parent, Jay Hunt, says, "It just makes you concerned as a parent, like, ‘Is my kid OK? What happened?’ But I’m glad it was taken care of and no one was hurt."
Parents like Hunt say they’re tired of hearing and seeing news like this – another school shooting threat at another Arizona school.
"I pray over her every day, and it is a thought, when I pass, when I drive by the school, I pray lord cover and protect," he said. "That’s the reality, unfortunately, we are living in, but the school has done a good job of keeping us informed when these things happen."
Another parent, Rebekah Hiller said she felt informed as information developed.
"First we got a text message saying that there was an email from the principal and checked our email, and it basically said that there was a possible threat from a student and that their safety is the most important thing, and they took care of it and that our campus is safe," Hiller said.
Hale says threats are not to be taken lightly.
"This isn’t a joke. This is not funny. It’s not a prank. It’s very serious, and you will get arrested, and you will go to jail. In today's world, we take these threats very seriously against any of our schools or against anyone here," he said. "If you make these kinds of threats in the city of Surprise, you will be arrested, and you will go to jail."
Police are urging parents to talk with their kids about incidents like this, and as always, if you see something, say something.