No explosive devices found after Chandler school threat


by Jennifer Thomas

Video reports by Kristine Harrington and Erika Flores

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Updated Thursday, May 8 at 10:30 AM

Map: School, apartment complex evacuated

View larger map

CHANDLER, Ariz. – Chandler police said no explosive devices were found after a school threat was reported Tuesday morning.

According to police, a student at Ken "Chief" Hill Learning Academy near Cooper and Frye roads showed the principal a text from another student threatening to carry out a Columbine-type of attack at 11:25 a.m.

The school was evacuated and students were taken to a nearby church.

Police identified and apprehended a 16-year-old male student at a townhouse complex near Ray and McQueen roads.

Detective Seth Tyler said a possible explosive device was located inside the student's home and a portion of the complex was evacuated.

Police said they were told there were more devices at the school and two suspicious items were found during a preliminary search. One was located inside the school and the other was found outside. Police later determined that they were not explosive devices.

The Mesa bomb squad X-rayed the device located in the teen's home and it was found to be a dummy device.

"We have to take this seriously," Chandler police spokesman Sgt. Joe Favazzo said. "We don't know so we come in with everything. We expect the absolute worst. We hope for the absolute best. In this case the best came. We didn't have a device. We didn't have any shootings. Everybody's safe."

The teen was released to his parents. Favazzo said detectives are working with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and at this time a decision to not file charges has been made.

The investigation is continuing.

Ken "Chief" Hill Learning Academy is part of the Chandler Unified School District.