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Mesa school threats: 2 teens busted in social media threats

Posted at 7:48 AM, Sep 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 15:15:36-04

Police are crediting diligent students, parents, and staff with helping to identify two social media threats made against Mesa schools on Thursday.

Mesa police said the first incident was reported at Liberty Charter School, after a student posted pictures on Instagram showing a weapon and saying she was going to shoot up the school.

Police were notified of the posting by other students, and were able to determine it was made by a 13-year-old girl who attends the school.

The teen was detained by staff and told responding officers that she sent the messages because she "was dared to by her friends."

The girl's parents were notified and she was charged with a felony count of interfering with an educational facility.

The second Thursday incident happened at Westwood High School, when a student found writing on a wall in the boys' restroom, saying, "Friday, be ready for a lockdown."

Police said the school resource officer was also notified of a Snapchat posting that stated, "I have a surprise for everyone tomorrow."

Detectives found the owner of the account, a 14-year-old boy, at his home, where he admitted to sending the post, and claimed it was just a joke.

The suspect was charged with one felony count of interfering with an educational facility, disorderly conduct, and threatening and intimidating, both misdemeanors.

Mesa police said in both incidents officers determined that the teens had no weapons or reasonable means to obtain any weapons.

In a Friday Facebook post about the incidents, police said they serve as a reminder that "'jokes' of this type will not be tolerated."