Canyon County

Tip helped prevent ‘plausible ... imminent’ threat to Melba school, says sheriff

Law enforcement arrested a Melba student after learning of what Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue called a real, imminent threat of violence to Melba Elementary School.

The sheriff’s office received a tip Saturday about the threat of a violent incident that was planned to take place Monday at the school, Donahue said at a press conference Monday. After talking to the reporting party, the juvenile was detained.

“(Officers) found the information to be very plausible and that a very imminent threat did exist to the security and safety of the children at the elementary school,” Donahue said.

Donahue and Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Taylor said they were limited in the information they could give about the incident because juvenile court cases are sealed.

Because the juvenile case is sealed, the specifics of the threat remained unclear after Monday’s press conference. Donahue was able to say the juvenile was a student of the district, but would not disclose the student’s name, age or gender.

Taylor said he could not disclose whether the juvenile was charged with a felony or misdemeanor.

Donahue said he believes the matter was an isolated incident and no other students were involved.

The school held a lockdown drill Monday, and a letter about the incident was sent home to parents.

Melba Elementary has kindergarten through sixth-grade students. There are about 420 students who attend the school, with 18 teachers and 22 staff members. There is no student resource officer assigned to the school, but law enforcement does patrol the area.

Melba School District Superintendent Andrew Grover commended the community member that came forward and the quick action the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office took over the weekend.

“Our biggest issue is that we want to make sure our students are safe,” said Grover. “That’s our most precious gift that we have and when they come to schools, whether it’s a Melba school or any other school in the Valley, we want parents to know that those kids are safe.”