BEND, OR -- Police say a Summit High student faces criminal charges for a bomb threat against the school. Bend PD's Sheila Miller says the threat appeared on social media over the weekend, "From an anonymous Summit High student claiming to be planning to detonate an explosive device on Monday. And we’ve determined that this 17-year-old is responsible."
Citing the ongoing investigation, Miller released very few details about the suspect, but says the threat was very specific, "The time, the date, the location and details of what this person was going to do. And it was referencing a specific event - it was going to take place on September 11th."
Police were first alerted Saturday evening by an anonymous report to the Safe Oregon tip line, which Miller calls a critical link, "You may not feel comfortable walking into the principal’s office and saying, ‘hey, this kid said this thing.’ But you can file an anonymous tip and share your concerns in that way. That is really vital. I think it’s also important to remember this was an anonymous threat that was shared on social media; seems very likely that a lot of people saw it, yet we only received one tip about it."
Following the tip, BPD involved federal authorities, "When these things involve threats to schools, threats to public agencies, threats involving incendiary devices, that sort of thing, it’s not uncommon to have the FBI get involved," Miller tells KBND News. There were also security sweeps of the school and all classes and activities were canceled Monday, "Because we couldn’t say with certainty that this was a hoax initially, that’s why we took it so seriously. During the course of our investigation, we did determine that this was a hoax."
After news broke of the teen's arrest, Bend-La Pine Schools issued a statement saying in part:
Bend-La Pine Schools is relieved this situation was resolved quickly and that no one was placed in harm’s way. We are also grateful that investigators were able to identify the responsible party, who now faces appropriate disciplinary consequences.
We stand beside our law enforcement partners in reminding our students and families that any hoax related to school safety is extremely serious and will result in significant consequences.