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Salida principal arrested for refusing to cooperate with officers during school lockdown, says

talmage trujillo salida principal mug.jpg
Posted at 8:23 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 22:27:26-04

SALIDA, Colo. — A principal at Salida High School was arrested Monday after he refused to comply with officers that were investigating reports of a suicidal minor who may have been armed with a gun near campus Thursday, according to a Chaffee County affidavit.

When officers responded to that incident, they learned principal Talmage Trujillo was with the minor, but Trujillo wouldn't disclose their exact location after multiple requests by officers, the affidavit says.

"I explained to Talmage the seriousness of this issue and advised that I needed to speak with [the minor]," Salida Officer CJ Meseke said, according to the affidavit.

Meseke informed Trujillo the school was locked down and he couldn't ensure the safety of students until he spoke with the minor.

"Talmage then said he would bring [the minor] to the high school after lunch," before hanging up and not answering follow-up calls, the affidavit says.

As officers tried to locate the pair, the school remained on lockdown. Some students like 10th-grader Rachel Anderson were on edge.

"I was scared, yes," Anderson said. "It was kind of hard to wrap my head around because... We don't have major stuff here happen in a small town. We weren't expecting it."

Then, Trujillo called school staff to have them to lift the lockdown, the affidavit says.

"We were told the threat has been contained and then we went back out. We thought everything was fine," Anderson said.

But that wasn't the case, according to officers who were still investigating and hadn't located the minor and Trujillo. Officers ordered another lockdown of the school.

"We were told by our teachers that we weren't ever supposed to come out of the first lockdown, and so that really scared me," Anderson said.

In a statement to Denver7, the Salida School District public information officer Kim LeTourneau stated that Trujillo is on paid administrative leave:

"The Salida School District Board of Education has initiated a process to review the charges brought against SHS Principal Talmage Trujillo and the actions of Superintendent David Blackburn, both related to the school lockdown that was ordered by Salida PD."

According to the affidavit, the district's superintendent David Blackburn showed up to the school during the lockdown, pushed through officers and at one point told some of the officers to "get the f--- out of my school."

Salida Fire Department firefighters told officers Blackburn was acting unprofessionally, at one point expressing that he doesn't like police, saying "Do you want to hear something off-record. I don't like cops. I don't want cops in the school, and I can change my opinion later," the affidavit says.

Officers later learned Trujillo had taken the minor to The Crest Academy middle school. They met the pair and learned Trujillo was not held against his own will and acted upon his own cognizance, according to the affidavit.

No one was hurt during the incident.

Trujillo was arrested on Monday for multiple misdemeanor charges, including harboring a minor, obstructing a peace officer, obstructing government operations and first-degree official misconduct.

It's not clear what happened with the minor following the incident and the affidavit does not confirm if the minor did have a gun.