Police tipped off by adult on kill list at Colorado Springs school

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Two 13-year-old boys attending a gifted magnet school are in a juvenile detention center after allegedly writing a kill list and messaging each other over how to carry out their threats.

On Wednesday, 11 News partner The Gazette reported police were tipped off by an adult who overheard other children talking about the list.

Police say the boys included several of their classmates and staff from Sabin Middle School on the list. According to police, all named have been contacted.

“I heard it first with the breaking news update on my phone and then I saw the email that came through from the principal,” explained Karissa Cook, a parent of a student who attends Sabin.

Officers started their investigation on Oct. 4 and say they recovered firearms during a search warrant execution off campus. A spokesperson for the Colorado Springs Police Department wouldn't say who the guns belonged to but told 11 News the boys did have access to the weapons.

“At least they found out what was going on ahead of time before something bad happened,” said Cassandra Mendez, her daughter is starting school at Sabin on Tuesday.

The boys were booked into the Spring Creek Juvenile Detention Center on multiple charges including inciting destruction of life or property. Police say they have identified everyone involved in the plot and are not anticipating making any further arrests.

"Our SROs [school resource officers] are confident that there are only two individuals who were having this online dialogue to include conversations between themselves," said Colorado Springs Police Department spokesman Lt. Howard Black. "We don't see there are other students or people from outside the community involved in this threat."

Black added this was a credible threat.

"We get threats or we pick up rumors from all of our school districts throughout the years," Black said. "It's very rare we see something that could have potentially had the ability to follow through on some of those threats."

As of Monday afternoon, it wasn't clear what the motive was behind the kill list. The students will need to go through court hearings to find out what type of disciplinary action they may face.

The investigation is ongoing, and 11 News will continue to update as new information becomes available.

The following message was sent to parents:

Dear Sabin Families,
I wanted to make you aware of a recent serious situation that was investigated at Sabin last week. The Colorado Springs Police Department, working with the D11 Security Department, investigated a significant threat to the school by two students. The police arrested the two Sabin students over the weekend as part of this investigation, and determined that although this was a credible threat, with the arrests now made, there is no longer a threat to students and staff. Both students are being charged with felony offenses. We are thankful for the quick response from law enforcement, D11 security and the person who reported this threat. Rest assured, any and all individuals impacted by this plan have been directly notified by law enforcement. School District 11 is also taking appropriate steps regarding consequences, but due to privacy laws, we can not give details. Teachers did share this information with students today, and I encourage you to talk with your child about this situation. We have shared, and will continue to share that Safe2Tell is an anonymous way to report potential threats.
Anyone may contact the school principal, or Safe2Tell by calling1-877-542-7233 if they feel they need to report a potentially dangerous situation. I appreciate the processes and procedures we have in place for students and staff to report to school administration any type of situation they feel is serious. If you have information directly related to the investigation, you are encouraged to call the non-emergency police line at 719-444-7000. As always, our counseling staff is available for your student to speak with if they feel like they need to talk with someone. I am also available to speak with parents and guardians about your questions and concerns, but please understand that I am not able to share many details of this investigation. As we move through this school year, I encourage us all to lookout for and care for one another as we maintain a safe and academic environment at Sabin.
Respectfully,
Jared Welch, Principal Sabin Middle School