The students behind threatening voicemails to Risdon Middle School in early February have been identified, according to Newcastle Police Department. A 17-year-old from Everett is facing felony charges for the threatening calls, which were made in an attempt to cancel school.
The investigation determined there is no immediate threat to Risdon or other Renton schools, the police state in a press release. Witnesses in the case indicate the calls were from the suspects thinking “it would be a good idea to call in a shooting threat to one of their schools” in order to get schools shut down. Newcastle police emphasize in the release that this is not an acceptable defense for any threat of violence, and no threat will be ignored.
After a thorough investigation working with multiple search warrants and cooperation from Renton School District, police determined the calls came from the phone of a 14-year-old girl from Renton, but were voiced by the main suspect, from Everett.
The weekend before Monday, Feb. 3, three voicemails were left, all less than 10 seconds in length, saying that people should not go to Risdon that Monday and referencing “shooting up the place.”
Officers remained at the middle school that Monday and throughout the investigation as a precaution, as well as other nearby schools.
Although the callers blocked the number to hide their identities, Newcastle police identified and interviewed the 14-year-old, who admitted to the call and offered the name of the 17-year-old suspect. The suspect and his parents declined to give a statement to the police and charges were filed to King County Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office against the main suspect.
In the release, police also encourage parents to talk to their children about the severity of the situation and the ramifications for engaging in school threats.
“We will file charges against anyone responsible for (an) attempt to strike fear into our community,” the release states.