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15-year-old arrested in connection with bomb threats made to Vail schools

Posted at 4:25 PM, Apr 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-18 10:40:45-04

A 15-year-old has been arrested in connection to the bomb threats made to three Vail Unified schools on Tuesday.

The suspect called in bomb threats by phone to Cienega High School, Empire High School and Desert Sky Middle School just after noon on Tuesday, according to a news release from the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

Even after those bomb threats were deemed not to be credible, Superintendent of Vail Schools John Carruth said the incident ’s impact is still lasting for staff, teachers, students, and parents.

“What I’m most sensitive to is how it makes people in this situation feel, they’re scared," Carruth.

He says in these situations he knows parents wish communication from the district was immediate, but the first priority is staff and student safety.

“There’s always a gap between our taking action and making sure people are safe, and our ability to clearly and effectively communicate what’s happening," Carruth said.

Carruth thanked law enforcement for their quick response and said they will continue to drill for situations like these in the future.

TEAM COVERAGE: Parents react to triple Vail school bomb threat

Students at all three schools were evacuated. PCSD and Tucson Police Department conducted searches at all three locations, which turned up nothing.

PCSD's Major Threats Investigative Group and TPD's Threat Mitigation Unit conducted a joint investigation into the threats.

They quickly identified the teen as the suspect, who was located, interviewed and admitted to making the threats as a joke.

A joint arrest of the teen was made. The teen was charged with three felony counts, one for each school, for interference with an educational institution, the news release said.