A high school student is facing a felony terrorism charge over a text message that threatened to “shoot up Tucson high” — one of two separate gun-related threats against area high schools in less than 24 hours.
Pima County sheriff’s deputies also arrested a student from Mountain View High School over a social post media post that showed a gun with the words “Don’t come to school tomorrow.”
Tucson Police Department spokesman Sgt. Pete Dugan said authorities are confident the two incidents are unrelated.
In the Tucson High Magnet School case, police received an early morning report of an ominous text someone sent to a friend that mentioned three types of firearms.
”I want to shoot up Tucson high with a (expletive) AR-15 and a 12 gauge and a glock 19,” the message said.
It also mentioned detonating C4 explosives inside the school.
Detectives quickly traced the message to a 16-year-old charter school student, and after searching his apartment, determined he acted alone and did not post a “credible threat,” Dugan said.
Even so, the teen now faces serious charges under a state statute that makes it a Class 3 felony to threaten a terrorist act or make a false report of a terrorist act.
The statute specifically mentions that either action is criminal even if “the person did not have the intent or capability of committing the act of terrorism.”
The Tucson teen was booked into the Pima County Juvenile Corrections Center on a charge of “making a terrorist threat; false reporting of terrorism.”
The Mountain View High School student was charged with threats and intimidation, a sheriff's department news release said.
Investigators determined he made the post "to create an excuse for not going to school today," it said.
The names of the two students were not released.