A 15-year-old Grand Junction High School student, who allegedly bragged to a fellow student that he "could have done better" than the Florida school shooter who killed "only 17" Wednesday, was quickly taken into custody after authorities were notified of the conversation.
The boy, who has not been identified, was approached by a Grand Junction police officer shortly after a student reported the threats to a school administrator, who passed the conversation along to police at about 12:47 p.m. Thursday, according to the teen's arrest affidavit.
Colorado law prohibits the release of juveniles' names in criminal cases.
The officer spoke to a student, who said the suspect told him over Facebook messenger that the Florida shooting was "weak (expletive)" and "pathetic," the report said.
"There were 'only 17 killed,' 'I could have done better,'" the other student told police, according to the affidavit.
The other student also told the officer that the suspect "has expressed 'fantasies about shooting up schools.'"
The suspect also allegedly described to the other student how he would "get the help of other people and collapse all the entrances to the school and 'mow everybody down,'" the report said. "One of the comments by (the suspect) advised he would cleanse the world of everyone who didn't think like him."
The officer viewed some of the comments on the other student's phone.
The officer contacted the suspect at Grand Junction High School the same day, seizing his iPhone and laptop before meeting with the boy and his parents at the high school for an interview.
The teen allegedly admitted making the comments reported, but told police the only gun he owns is a non-working paintball gun, the report said. However, a person whose name is redacted but who seems to be one of the teen's parents told police he "has multiple guns in the residence which are secured," the report said.
Another juvenile who spoke to police described the suspect as "paranoid" and having once "made a comment that people were always watching him and that he was always in stealth mode," the report said.
While portions of the teen's arrest affidavit are redacted to protect the identities of juveniles who spoke to police, the document appears to indicate that the suspect was expelled from Valley School on Feb. 12 following inappropriate computer use at school discovered on Feb. 8.
The teen was taken into custody on suspicion of a felony count of inciting destruction of life or property and misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and interference with staff, faculty or students of education institutions Thursday night, according to police spokeswoman Heidi Davidson. He is currently being held at the Department of Youth Corrections.
"The Grand Junction Police Department takes these types of threats extremely seriously," Davidson wrote in a release. "The safety of our students and school staff is paramount."
The department urged parents to talk to their children about the importance of speaking to a trusted adult about any threat of violence, or about using Safe2Tell, a way for students to report threats or potential crimes anonymously.
"One student brave enough to speak out has the power to prevent potential tragedy," Davidson wrote.
Grand Junction High School was in session Friday, which District 51 spokeswoman Emily Shockley said was a decision made with input from the police department.
"We leave that up to law enforcement to recommend what we should do, and the student was in custody the whole time during the school day," Shockley said.
School parents were notified of the situation shortly after 5 p.m. Friday. Shockley said the delay was in order to give police and school officials time to investigate, and it didn't seem students were in immediate danger.
Consequences for the student could range up to expulsion, according to Shockley.
The incident was one of three law enforcement situations on or near high school campuses in recent days.
A 15-year-old boy was taken into custody for questioning Thursday following a report of a man with a gun at Grand Mesa Choice Academy, an alternative high school south of Delta. The Delta County Sheriff's Office said the boy was later released after it was discovered that he did not possess a weapon. He was not charged.
And, a reportedly suicidal man who eluded police responding to a home not far from Fruita Monument High School on Thursday triggered heightened security at Fruita schools on Friday, and prompted District 51 to postpone basketball games scheduled for Friday night.