Sheriff’s office investigates death threat at Liberty
July 6, 2010
A threat scrawled on a restroom wall at Liberty High School raised concerns about school safety for Issaquah School District and law enforcement officials.
Police said the writer threatened to bring a gun to school Oct. 27 “and shoot everybody,” the message reads.
“If I were you I wouldn’t go to school,” the pencil-written message continues. “You are warned.”
Sgt. John Urquhart, King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said investigators must determine whether the source is credible and then — if the threat turns out to be legitimate — coordinate with the school district to determine appropriate action.
Police said a custodian discovered the disturbing message on a wall near a toilet stall in a boys’ restroom June 23. Principal Mike Deletis reported the graffiti to the sheriff’s office and school district officials.
Only school staff members had occupied the building since the school year ended June 17, although a student could have come to campus unnoticed. District officials checked security video, but did not notice anything unusual in the logs.
“The threat is not against Mike Deletis and is not specific to anybody,” Sara Niegowski, school district spokeswoman, said late last week. “This happened after school was out, the custodians have cleaned the bathrooms since, so it happened afterward and it is a mystery as to how it got there.”
She said district officials must determine the credibility of the threat, the person behind the message and the significance of the date.
Niegowski said she could not recall a situation like the Liberty threat happening before. She described the situation as unusual, because most threats against schools are more immediate.
For example, a 16-year-old Issaquah High School student made a bomb threat in December 2007, because he did not want to attend classes that day.
Officials evacuated the school, and sent students home after the 10:30 a.m. threat. Police eventually arrested the student responsible for the prank.