Catalina High student arrested, faces aggravated assault charge

2013-10-02T00:00:00Z 2013-10-02T08:06:39Z Catalina High student arrested, faces aggravated assault chargeBy Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A 17-year-old Catalina Magnet High School student was arrested Tuesday after an incident in the morning that sent the school into lockdown.

Tyler Renfro was booked into the Pima County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault and participating in a street gang while committing an aggravated assault, said Sgt. Chris Widmer, a Tucson Police Department spokesman.

Shortly after 8 a.m., 45 officers were dispatched to the campus after a report of a student on campus with a gun, Widmer said. The school, at 3645 E. Pima St., was locked down for 2ƒ hours while officers searched the campus.

“We actively prepare for these types of calls, and although it wasn’t an active-shooter call, we treated it very seriously and we put a plan into motion,” Widmer said.

Detectives were told Renfro and an 18-year-old Catalina student were near the baseball dugout shortly after 8 a.m., and both were involved in an altercation.

Widmer said Renfro pulled out a weapon that was later determined to be an Airsoft gun — a replica of a firearm that shoots pellets.

“The victim realized it wasn’t a real gun, then Renfro pulled out a pocketknife and threatened the victim,” said Widmer.

The primary witness was a TUSD employee who reported the incident to school officials, who then called 911. The students involved dispersed.

As officers searched, Renfro came forward and told investigators he was a witness. During questioning, police determined he was a suspect.

The victim eventually came forward and told police he was involved, Widmer said. A third student, detained off the school grounds as he was coming onto the campus, was also a witness. That student’s age was not available.

The Airsoft gun was found off campus, Widmer said. The knife was not found.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at or 573-4104.

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