Texted tip stopped Mountain Vista HS threat

Posted at 2:04 PM, Dec 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-16 18:04:29-05

Douglas County Superintendent Liz Celania-Fagen said Mountain Vista High School is safe, one day after a murder threat there came to light.

Students returned to class Wednesday for final exams. Administrators canceled classes Tuesday because of weather conditions. 

Fagen said in a Wednesday press conference that the specific threat, made by 16-year-old girls, is over and the school is working with police. Many of the specific details of this case cannot be shared because the affidavit is sealed.

She adds the partnership between the district and police over the last few days is the strongest working relationship with law enforcement she's had in her career. Patrols have increased around the school and throughout the district since the threat and crisis counselors are on hand.

2 students arrested after threat to Mount Vista High School

"Because of the gravity of the situation, we are really employing every strategy we have available to us," Fagen said. "People really feel that community of law enforcement as a support and a safety mechanism, which we really enjoy."

On Saturday, the school was notified of the threat, they believe by a a student, over the Text-A-Tip line. It's a program used in high schools in Douglas County, Castle Rock, Parker, Elizabeth and Elbert County. Many similar programs exist in other districts.

"They took what felt like a risk, for a teenager, of sharing some very important information with adults. And as a result of that decision, they made a huge difference in the lives of a lot of people," the superintendent said. 

"I think the text message and the information we obtained through our investigation saved lives for sure given the severity of the situation," Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.

The sheriff's office says more than 200 tips have come in through their school text line this year.

The plot was foiled on Sunday. A letter alerted parents to the threat on Tuesday. Administrators defended the date of their letter release, saying this wasn't a delay, but rather making sure the correct information went out to parents. 

Police arrested the suspects for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. The specific nature of the threats hasn't been released.

Mark Boyle will have a full report on Denver7 and 4, 5 and 6