Police: 'Potential victim' in Snapchat school threat arrested as suspect

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: Chandler Police Department via Twitter) (Source: Chandler Police Department via Twitter)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The Chandler Police Department has made an arrest in connection with a Snapchat threat made against Santan Elementary School students.

"We started receiving calls from multiple people around 10:45 last night," Detective Seth Tyler of the Chandler Police Department explained Wednesday morning. "We immediately began the investigation." 

The department tweeted about the investigation just after 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Investigators' first move was to go to "the individual that [sic] was named in the threat, believing he was a potential victim," Tyler said.

"When we left his residence, we continued investigating," he continued. "We spoke with other students; we contacted our school resource officer."

That investigation led police back to where they started.

"We actually returned to his residence and we arrested him for making the threats," Tyler said.

At this point, police have not released any information about the suspect.

Law enforcement agencies, as a rule, play close attention to situations like this.

"Any threat made on social media, whether it's a person, whether it's an institution -- especially if it's a school -- ... any police department is absolutely going to take that extremely serious[ly]," Tyler said. "We worked all night on this case. We're very happy to report that we made an arrest."

Classes at Santan Elementary and Santan Junior High, which share a K-8 campus just northwest of Cooper and Chandler Heights roads, are taking place as scheduled.

Terry Locke of the Chandler Unified School District said a letter went out to all parents and staff Wednesday morning.

"We are writing to inform you that late last night Chandler Police received information about a threat involving Santan.  Police investigated and made an arrest this morning.  We appreciate Chandler Police's efforts to resolve this matter in a timely manner.  Classes will continue as scheduled.  To address any concerns about safety, Chandler Police will have increased presence at our campus today.

"The purpose of this letter is to keep you informed of issues related to campus safety and to encourage open dialogue about community and school safety. We ask parents to play a role in our safety efforts by reiterating with your children the importance of informing staff whenever he/she has information related to the safety of our community or school.

We also ask you to continue discussions with your children about the seriousness of actions and words that others might be considered a threat. We will continue to have zero tolerance toward any message or threat to staff and students and will work cooperatively with the Chandler Police to pursue prosecution in these matters. We ask that all parents, students and staff continue to help in our school safety efforts by being the “eyes and ears” of all of our schools and our community."

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