13-Year-Old Charged with Terrorism for Threatening School Shooting in Prescott

On the afternoon of May 17th YCSO investigated a report made by a school bus driver for Prescott Mile High Middle School who informed school administrators that a 13-year-old male student had made numerous threats to “shoot up the school”. The driver said the child made the threat three times while speaking to him during the bus route prior to being dropped off near his home. School administrators contacted the child’s mother and the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.

YCSO met with the child and his mother at their residence in Prescott, and the child admitted to repeatedly telling the bus driver that he was going to shoot up the school. He said the reason he did so was to distract the bus driver while his friend moved to the back of the bus, but that he had no real intention of doing any harm at the school.

The child was placed under arrest and booked into the Yavapai County Juvenile Detention Center, charged with Threatening or Intimidating, Interference or Disruption of an Educational Institution, and Making a Terrorist Threat.

“I want to speak to directly to the young people out there. I cannot stress enough the seriousness of making a threat to a school, even if you are ‘just kidding’” said Sheriff David Rhodes. “You will be arrested and charged for making these types of dangerous threats. ‘I wasn’t serious’ isn’t a defense, so please be aware that your words have consequences”.

The mother of the suspect stated that there were firearms in the home that were locked in a safe. The YCSO deputy suggested that the combination be changed to prohibit access in case the child might know the current combination – something YCSO urges all parents with gun safes to routinely do as a matter of course.

In the wake of the latest deadly school shooting in Texas, we cannot be too careful and diligent. YCSO extends our condolences to the families of the victims in Uvalde tragedy.

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