TELLURIDE, Colo. (CBS4) – One student is in protective custody and at least five other students are being questioned after investigators discovered a “Columbine-Style” threat being discussed on the social media app Snapchat.
On Sunday afternoon, a student notified Telluride High School staff about the possible threat to shoot students at the school on Monday. The staff immediately contacted investigators, according to a statement released by the Telluride Marshal’s Office.
On Sunday evening, investigators learned of an additional threat made via a Snapchat message that indicated explosives were being placed around the school to be detonated on Monday.
“At approximately 5 o’clock, one student was taken into protective custody. A rifle and a handgun found in their Telluride home were collected by investigating officers,” investigators stated.
School Superintendent Mike Gass decided to close school Monday to allow for a more thorough investigation, the Marshal’s Department stated.
“[Telluride Fire Protection District], HAZMAT, law enforcement and school officials are in the process of sweeping the school to check for explosives and any evidence or unusual activity,” officials stated Monday.
Video surveillance at the campus is also being reviewed.
“We take these threats seriously and our investigation will be efficient and thorough,” Chief Marshal James Kolar said.
The Grand Junction Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will assist the Telluride Marshal’s Department, the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, the Mountain Village Police Department, the Telluride Fire Protection District and the Telluride School District with the investigation.
The school is expected to re-open Tuesday at the normal time.
Superintendent Gass said this is an excellent example of kids doing the right thing by notifying adults of suspicious activity.
This statement was posted on the school’s website:
“On Sunday afternoon November 26th TSD staff were notified of a possible threat against the TMHS campus. Staff immediately notified the Telluride Marshall’s office who responded to the threat. 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. We still have other students the Marshall’s office would like to follow up with tomorrow during the day. Due to the timing of events I do not feel confident in securing the campus in the dark and want to make sure our sweep is comprehensive and gives me the confidence to reopen. 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.”
Any students or parents with tips related to this incident should contact the Telluride Marshal’s Office at 970-728-3818.