Issaquah High School student arrested for shooter hoax

January 15, 2013

By Warren Kagarise

Issaquah police arrested a man Jan. 9 for falsely reporting a shooter on the Issaquah High School campus, prompting a swift police response and lockdowns at Issaquah High and other nearby schools.

Investigators said the 18-year-old Sammamish man, a student at Issaquah High, reported seeing a man with a gun in the school’s upper parking lot at about 10:05 a.m. Jan. 9. Police rushed to the scene to investigate and provide security at Issaquah High and nearby campuses.

Meanwhile, school administrators placed the school and Tiger Mountain Community High, Issaquah Middle and Clark Elementary Schools on lockdown.

The lockdown lasted for about 45 minutes as police investigated the report.

In the lockdown at Issaquah High and Tiger Mountain Community High, students remained inside classrooms with the doors locked. The modified lockdown at Clark Elementary and Issaquah Middle meant students had to stay inside school buildings.

What to know

The shooter hoax at Issaquah High School remains under investigation. People with information about the case should contact Issaquah Detective Sgt. Kevin Nash at 837-3227.

Upon further questioning, the student admitted to making up the report and all schools resumed normal activities.

Police arrested the man for false reporting and booked him at the Issaquah Police Department.

The incident came not long after a student discovered ammunition in a hallway at Issaquah High on Jan. 7.

Issaquah School District spokeswoman Sara Niegowski said the arrest and the discovery of ammunition on campus were not connected.

Issaquah High Principal Paula Phelps said no evidence in the ammunition incident suggested a firearm was on campus.

Phelps said a student reported the ammunition to school administrators, and the school resource officer checked the area. The officer determined the ammunition likely fell from a backpack or pocket.

School administrators reviewed security camera footage and called a staff meeting to determine if any administrators or teachers noticed any strange student behavior. Police also swept the building with three dogs.

Extra police officers greeted students on campus the next day.

“Student and staff safety is always top priority, and this was another example of Issaquah police — including our onsite school resource officer — responding incredibly quickly and with utmost thoroughness, no matter what the incident or likelihood of threat at our school,” Phelps wrote in a message emailed to the school community Jan. 8.

Issaquah School District policies prohibit weapons and weapons-related accessories from campuses.

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