Separate threats made at different Colorado Springs schools

Doherty High School, where one of the two threats Monday was targeting.
Doherty High School, where one of the two threats Monday was targeting.(KKTV)
Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 4:39 PM MDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2022 at 6:53 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Two students are facing charges after allegedly making threats against two Colorado Springs schools.

The students are in two separate districts and each made a threat on social media against their respective school, police said Monday. In both cases, the posts depicted guns -- one of which would be confirmed to be real -- and in each case, someone saw the post and immediately alerted law enforcement.

The first call to police came from a parent of a Doherty High School about 8:45 a.m. Monday. The parent reportedly told officers that their child had posted a video of himself online holding a gun and making threats towards their school. The school was immediately placed on a “secure” status while officers looked into the threat. Officers determined the student in question was not on campus and found him at a friend’s house.

“The juvenile was contacted in the company of others at that location and a firearm matching the depiction in the video was located during the investigation. The juvenile was subsequently arrested for various charges related to the posted threats and possession of the weapon,” police wrote on the CSPD blotter.

Doherty High School then reverted back to normal status for the remainder of the school day.

Less than 20 minutes after the police department was contacted about Doherty, it received a separate alert regarding a social media post targeting Challenger Middle School. The post showed a student dressed in camouflage and carrying long guns, with a question written: “Shoot up school?” Police say in this case, other students were aware of the post and knew who the student was and reported that to school officials. That student was located on campus and detained.

“The good thing about this particular instance is students literally saw something, heard something, and they reported it,” said Allison Cortez, a spokesperson with District 20. “Because of their actions, we were able to deal with it and at no time was the campus under any threat.”

Police determined the weapons the student posed with were fakes. Even so, the student was arrested on charges of interference with staff, faculty, or students of educational institutions.

“This is never taken lightly,” Cortez said. “This is never a joke when we use threatening language against students or a building. I think they’re really important thing for students and families to understand is … well you might say, ‘Oh the weapon wasn’t even real. It was a BB gun.’ It doesn’t matter. It disrupted the learning. It disrupted the day. That’s still a situation where the student is going to face consequences because of that.”

Both districts released statements on the incidents. District 11 released two statements, one to families and one to media.

District 11 statement to families, staff, and students:

Doherty High School was put on a secure status today due to a social media threat. Our school administrators, Colorado Springs Police Department, and School Resource Officer acted quickly to safely secure the school and identify the source of the post. Every threat, regardless of rumors, is thoroughly investigated and taken seriously. This is a good reminder to report anything you may see on social media that causes concern to school personnel or anonymously to the Safe2Tell hotline at 1-877-542-7233 or online at Together we make a difference in the safety and security of our school environments.

District 11 statement to media:

Colorado Springs School District 11 was made aware of a potential threat to Doherty High School today through a social media post. School administrators and D11 security responded promptly and placed Doherty on a brief secure status. D11 is thankful for the quick response and collaboration of the Colorado Springs Police Department and school resource officer who worked to investigate the situation, further keeping students and staff safe and allowing students to learn uninterrupted. It is with appreciation and gratitude that we thank our police and first responders, who work diligently to help provide a safe learning environment for all D11 students, staff, and families.

District 20 released a single statement to families, which it made available to 11 News:

District 20 statement:

Dear Challenger Middle School Families,

This morning students arrived at school and reported seeing threats made against our school on social media. Our school administration, in conjunction with Academy District 20 Security, immediately began investigating and conducted a thorough threat assessment. Additionally, the Colorado Springs Police Department conducted its own investigation.

We are pleased to report due to the swift action of our students, staff, security and CSPD, the situation has been remedied and there is no threat to our campus, students and staff. It is business as usual at CMS.

Today’s events serve as a reminder of the importance of “if you see something, say something.” We will continue speaking with our students about reporting events like this to a trusted adult, as well as using Safe2Tell. We encourage our families to also speak to your student(s) about continuing to speak up. The safety of each of our students and staff is paramount. I would like to compliment our students for speaking up and seeking a trusted adult. Thank you for your support and cooperation.

If you would anonymously like to report a tip go to Safe2Tell or call at 1-877-542-7233.