FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Telluride Schools to Open Tuesday after “Columbine-Style” Threats Closed High School Monday
FROM: Telluride Marshal’s Department, Telluride, CO
CONTACT: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer 970-729-2028
November 27, 2017 -- (Telluride, CO) – Investigators have completed interviews with six students and at least three more are pending in connection with threats made to the Telluride High School reported on Sunday. One student is in protective custody.
Nothing in the interviews indicated any ongoing threat to THS campus or students.
Chief James Kolar said he is confident there is no threat to public safety and that law enforcement will be present when school re-opens at the normal time tomorrow (Tuesday).
The tactical portion of the operation was completed Monday afternoon which included a full sweep of the exterior and interior of the Telluride public schools. No guns, explosives or other evidence of an attack were found.
The investigation is ongoing and when completed will be presented to the District Attorney’s office to determine what if any charges will be filed.
A student notified THS staff Sunday afternoon (at approximately 3 o’clock) of a possible threat and staff immediately contacted the Telluride Marshal’s Department.
Law enforcement learned of a threat with direct references to the Columbine shooting and shooters being discussed on the social media app “Snapchat,” to shoot students at the school 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.
Law enforcement learned Sunday evening of an additional threat via a “Snapchat” message, of explosives being placed around the school to be detonated on Monday.
The student in protective custody is believed to be the author of the second threat referencing explosives. The author of the first threat referencing a “Columbine-style” shooting is not yet known.
After consultation with law enforcement, School Superintendent Mike Gass decided to close school Monday to allow for a more thorough investigation.
Telluride Marshal’s Department is leading the investigation with assistance from the San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, Mountain Village Police Department, Telluride Fire Protection District (Fire, HAZMAT, and EMS), the Grand Junction Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Telluride School District.
Superintendent Gass said this is an excellent example of kids doing the right thing by notifying adults of suspicious activity.
Chief Marshal James Kolar said, “We take these threats seriously and our investigation will be efficient and thorough.”
Any students or parents with tips related to this incident should contact the Telluride Marshal’s Office at 970-728-3818.