Reports of threats, students bringing guns to multiple schools across Arizona

Arizona schools have seen a recent uptick statewide with students bringing guns to school in the past week.
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:11 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Multiple schools across Arizona have received threats of potential school shootings and students reportedly bringing guns to school in a week. Seven schools have received threats or brought guns to school this week alone, prompting lockdowns and even classes canceled in some cases. In addition, several students have been detained and could be facing serious charges.

PHOENIX

On Thursday, Central High School was placed on lockdown as Phoenix police investigated a possible threat toward the school. Police detained one person, and the high school lifted the lockdown. Parents were allowed to pick up their students at school. No staff or students were hurt.

WEST VALLEY

Officers were at Sierra Linda High School in Tolleson investigating a threat toward the school on Thursday afternoon. The school wasn’t placed on lockdown, and school officials say the day continued as normal with no issues. It’s unknown if the threat was legitimate.

EAST VALLEY

On Wednesday, police received a report of a threat at Archway Veritas Great Heart Academy in Scottsdale. Police say two students posted threats on social media and another student found a threatening note at school. Police say at the time that “there was nothing to indicate the threats were credible.”

However, on Thursday, staff identified the two students who were behind the threats. Officers found the two students before the school day started and detained them. The school decided to cancel classes for the rest of the day. The school released a statement regarding the threat.

“Early this morning we were made aware of a threat to the Great Hearts Veritas campus. Details came in before school had started. Out of an abundance of caution, we closed school today while police conducted a full investigation. The police identified and detained two suspects this morning. Classes will resume tomorrow (Friday).The safety of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority and all threats are taken seriously. Any further questions can be addressed to local law enforcement.”

On Monday, Gilbert police discovered a student reportedly brought a BB gun to Mesquite Junior High. Staff acted immediately and no one was hurt. Gilbert police found the student responsible and said they submitted charges of disorderly conduct against the student. A letter was sent home to parents after the incident.

Dear Mesquite Junior High Families,

It is important to us to keep our parents and families as informed as possible regarding any incidents involving our campus and students.

Today, reports were received of a student on campus who had brought a BB-gun to school. The Mesquite Junior High Administration acted immediately and at no time were students or employees in any danger. Gilbert Police Department was informed immediately and the investigation is ongoing.

Providing a safe and secure learning environment is a top priority for Gilbert Public Schools,and Mesquite Junior High School. Please be assured we take incidents like this very seriously. Thank you for your continued support of our students and our school.

OUTSIDE MARICOPA COUNTY

On Wednesday, school resource officers received a tip of a possible shooting at Kingman High School. The SROs called Mohave County Sheriff’s Office to begin investigating the threats. Deputies began speaking to students, but no evidence was found for the claims. Deputies and detectives were back on campus on Thursday for extra safety and to interview more students. Deputies say if any legitimate threats are found, charges will be filed.

Meanwhile, in San Tan Valley, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called out to Circle Cross Ranch STEM Academy on Thursday after an eighth grade student reportedly brought a gun to school. Deputies say staff found out about the handgun after students had been dismissed for the day. Deputies found out who the student was and searched them, and didn’t find any weapons. However, deputies say the student admitted they had brought a gun to school the day prior. Deputies stayed on campus throughout the school day on Thursday. School officials sent out a letter to parents regarding the incident.

In our effort to keep parents fully informed, I am writing this letter to notify you of an incident that was reported to school administration yesterday afternoon by a parent. It was brought to our attention that a 9mm gun was brought on campus by a student yesterday. We immediately contacted the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and conducted a thorough threat assessment. The school administration moved quickly to ensure the safety of all children and staff while they worked to establish the validity of the report.

On Monday, Cochise County Sheriff’s deputies were called out to a Cochise County school after reports of a second-grade student bringing a gun to school. Deputies say they searched the student’s backpack, found two guns and ammunition, and called the student’s parents. In addition, deputies filled out a juvenile referral for charges of misconduct with a weapon and minor in possession of a firearm.