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13-year-old charged with terrorism after threatening Prescott school shooting

The 13-year-old boy allegedly told a school bus driver numerous times that he was planning to "shoot up" Prescott Mile High Middle School, deputies said.

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) deputies arrested a 13-year-old boy on May 17 after he allegedly made several threats to shoot up a Prescott school.

The boy, who has yet to be identified by police, repeatedly told a bus driver that he was planning to "shoot up" Prescott Mile High Middle School, deputies said. The bus driver reported it to school administrators, who then notified the teen's mother and YCSO.

Deputies met with the boy and his mom where the boy allegedly admitted to making the threats, saying he did it to distract the bus driver as his friend moved to the back of the bus, YCSO said. The teen said they had no real intention to do harm at the school.

The teen's mom said there were weapons at their house that were locked in a safe, deputies said. YCSO told the mom, and urges every other gun owner, to change the combination regularly for safety.

Deputies booked the teen into the Yavapai County Juvenile Detention Center and charged him with threatening or intimidating, interference or disruption of an educational institution, and making a terrorist threat, the sheriff's office said.

RELATED: Police face questions over delays in storming Texas school

The recent mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas heightened the importance of spreading the message that threats won't be tolerated, Sheriff David Rhodes said.

“I want to speak to directly to the young people out there. I cannot stress enough the seriousness of making a threat to a school, even if you are ‘just kidding’” Rhodes said. 

“You will be arrested and charged for making these types of dangerous threats. ‘I wasn’t serious’ isn’t a defense, so please be aware that your words have consequences."

RELATED: Official: 19 children killed in Texas elementary school shooting

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: Adolescente acusado de terrorismo tras amenazar con un tiroteo en escuela de Prescott

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