Nampa police arrested two teenagers Tuesday who they believe helped spread the threat of violence made against Skyview High School last Thursday. The threat of a shooting, supposedly to happen Tuesday, was found scrawled in red across the high school’s bathroom.
Around 1,000 students did not show up to class Tuesday, school officials and police said.
The threat was very specific, pinpointing the time of the planned attack at 10:24 a.m. That time passed Tuesday without incident, bringing a sigh of relief but continued vigilance, police Sgt. Tim Riha and Nampa School District spokeswoman Kathleen Tuck said.
Riha said Tuesday evening that it’s not confirmed the teens — 16- and 18-year-old boys — wrote the initial threat. But any action a person takes to further the message, such as promoting it, is illegal, he said. Both of the teenagers are believed to be enrolled students at Skyview High.
Tuck said the school has not yet determined disciplinary measures for the teenagers.
The 16-year-old male was arrested on suspicion of disturbing the peace and for making threats of violence on school grounds. He was taken to the Southwest Idaho Juvenile Detention Center in Caldwell. His name has not been released because he is a juvenile.
The 18-year-old male, identified as Martin P. Soto, was arrested on suspicion of possessing lost or stolen property (a firearm) and for disorderly conduct. Soto was transported to the Canyon County jail. The firearm involved was located at a home and was not at Skyview or on any Nampa School District property.
Riha said law enforcement learned of the weapon in an interview during the investigation. There was no sign as of Tuesday evening that Soto planned to bring the gun to school or carry out any sort of attack.
Tuck did not have exact absentee numbers Tuesday morning but said an estimated 300 to 315 of Skyview’s 1,315 students showed up for classes. The rest stayed home on excused absences but will have to make up the work, she said.
“Normally we have 30 in a regular classroom,” Tuck said. “We had five to eight today.”
Several police officers stayed at Skyview during school hours and patrol officers spent extra time in the areas around the school.
Tuck said she dropped by the school and found the students there in good spirits. “School continued, learning continued,” she said.
Some parents apparently kept teens home Monday, too, she said, noting a lower-than-normal 81 percent attendance at Skyview that day.
Posted on social media last week, the graffiti threat caused widespread anxiety among Skyview parents and many calls to the school district and police.
Police reviewed surveillance photos and other evidence but have not yet determined who wrote the threat, or why, Riha said. The student who posted a photo of the graffiti on Facebook is not believed to have been the one who wrote it.
“The safety of students and staff is our number one priority. We will not tolerate threats, whether made directly, through social media, anonymously or threats made as a hoax,” said school resource officer Sgt. Jason Cantrell in a news release. “Threatening violence against schools is a violation of the law and persons found responsible will be charged and prosecuted.”
Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact the Nampa Police Department at 465-2257 or through anonymous tips by contacting Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS or at 343cops.com.
Kristin Rodine: 208-377-6447