Arrest made in online threats

A sign outside the SUSD administration building promotes a concert that was canceled after online threats. 

The Sahuarita Police Department has arrested someone they believe made an online threat against Sahuarita Middle School late Monday afternoon and continue to investigate earlier threats made against three other Sahuarita Unified School District schools.

According to a news release, the teenage suspect was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of making a terrorist threat, interference/disruption of an educational institution and use of electronic device to threaten.

Lt. Sam Almodova declined to release any other information about the teenager, including gender, age and hometown because it could interfere with the investigation.

Late Monday evening, SUSD officials decided to cancel school and all school-related activities Tuesday after someone posted pictures of actual firearms on Instagram and made statements about shooting hundreds of students at SMS.

On Sunday night, someone posted cartoon-style pictures with threats about shooting up Anza Trail School, Walden Grove High School and Sahuarita High School on Instagram and other social media websites.

The Sunday night threats prompted additional officers to be assigned to those three schools on Monday.

According to a news release, SPD detectives have been working with multiple law enforcement agencies, SUSD and other organizations to find the source of the threats.

On Monday, SPD officials said they had not found "a credible and actionable threat" after speaking with multiple people.

"We continue to work and share information with SUSD and other law enforcement agencies. Information has been officially requested from different social media companies," Almodova said in a Monday news release. "Some of the information has been received and we will continue to work with these companies."

Both the police department and Sahuarita Unified School District officials are urging people with information to share it with SPD at 344-7847, 88-Crime or 911.

SUSD sent three letters to parents about the situation Monday and the Sahuarita Police Department sent out alerts via Nixle.

SUSD officials "encourage parents and guardians to please take a moment to emphasize with your child(ren) the importance of practicing respectful digital citizenship and to never post threats online. Posting a threat online can result in serious disciplinary consequences for minors, even if the post is intended as a joke or prank."

A sign outside the SUSD administration building promotes a concert that was canceled after online threats.

Kim Smith | 520-547-9740

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