Telluride High School reopens following threats

Published: Nov. 27, 2017 at 11:33 AM MST
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Telluride High School reopened Tuesday after a threat posted to a popular social media app prompted the school's closing on Monday.

The Telluride Marshal said a student notified the school’s staff Sunday about “Columbine-style” threats on Snapchat to shoot students at the school on Monday. There were also threats on the social media app about explosives being placed around the school that would be detonated on Monday.

Sweeps of the elementary and high schools yielded "nothing of note," the Telluride Marshal’s Department said. Officials said they met with faculty and parents Monday night and Tuesday morning in advance of re-opening the school.

One student was taken into protective custody after officers found a rifle and a handgun at their house in Telluride on Sunday. Officials could not confirm if the firearms belonged to the suspect, but did say Tuesday that he was released to his parents.

Five other students were being questioned related to the threats as well, authorities said. No one else has been charged.

“We do not want to imply that they are necessarily a group of six who had an organized plan," Susan Lilly, PIO for Telluride Marshal’s Department, said. "We just have one in custody and five others are being interviewed as part of the investigation.”

Telluride High School could not be reached for comment, but in a statement on their website said "we take every threat seriously and run down all leads to ensure safety of students and staff. We traced the information to a student who was taken into custody and will not be at school... I understand this is a challenge for families and we will do our best resolve this and notify parents by noon Monday about Tuesday and afternoon practices. Tuesday should be an early release as usual."

Telluride High School Superintendent Mike Gass decided to cancel class Monday to allow for more investigation, according to the press release.

“We want to encourage anyone who comes across suspicious conversation or chats or any kind of social media chats to tell an adult," Lilly said. "This student did the right thing in notifying an adult immediately. This has been shown to prevent plans from being carried out. We don’t know how real this threat was, we, of course, took it seriously and we’re glad that the student came forward.”

Anyone with information related to this incident should contact the Telluride Marshal’s Office at 970-728-3818.