SPOKANE, Wash. – Just days after a mass shooting at a high school in Florida, deputies arrested an 11-year-old student in Spokane after he allegedly made threats on social media against two other juveniles.
The threats sent Trentwood Elementary and East Valley Middle School into a lockdown for several hours and additional deputies were routed to the area.
Just before 9 a.m., deputies found the suspect in a house in Spokane Valley and he was booked on two felony counts of threats to bomb or injure property and two felony counts of harassment.
Friday afternoon, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich warned students and residents alike that they will be taking all threats very seriously.
“There is going to be zero tolerance in this county to making these kind of threats to your school, to your classmates, so be forewarned,” Knezovich said. “We are no longer playing a game.”
Knezovich said school resource deputies are doing their best to investigate anything they become aware of, and part of that comes from students letting them know.
“Kids come in with information and we do our best to not let them down. We do our best to actually take that information and do something with it,” he said. “We owe it to these kids if they’re going to take that chance, if they’re going to break that code of silence, to do something with the information that they give us.”
Knezovich said he believes students notifying law enforcement when they think something is amiss is key.
“They’re watching, even though it’s not their classmates, they’re watching other people’s classmates get killed,” he said. “They don’t want to see that happen. So they are taking that chance [to warn schools/law enforcement].”
“Nine times out of 10 there were warning signs that either people missed or they didn’t take it seriously enough and didn’t look into it,” Knezovich said. “We’re not taking that chance in Spokane County. If we see it, we’re going to do our best to track it down."