Small Town News


Bomb threat handled at AFHS, realistic BB gun found at WTMS

The Power County Press of American Falls, Idaho

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After pictures surfaced of students from WTMS and AFHS with guns on Facebook, the American Falls Police Department and Power County Sheriff's Office were notified of students possibly in possession of a weapon at the high school or middle school.

An investigation took place to locate the weapon and secure the student.

"The police department and the sheriff's office worked together to figure it out. The sheriff's office handled everything out at the high school and we took care of the middle school incident. There was concern that a juvenile had a weapon at the school so WTMS went into lockdown and in less than 10 minutes we located and separated the student to a secure location and located the gun in the juveniles backpack in their locker," said Chief of Police Brandon Wilkinson.

The gun that was found was an exact replica of a 357 revolver. The gun itself was a BB gun but the aesthetics of it were spot on with an actual revolver. The student was charged and released to family. The student will be facing expulsion.

"It's unfortunate that this is happening. Companies are making BB guns to look exactly like real guns. If it was me I wouldn't have hesitated to open fire if that gun was pulled on me," said Wilkinson. "It's alarming that we've had two similar incidents in our schools in less than a month and a half," finished Wilkinson.

According to Wilkinson, local leaders including city council, the county and school board are coming together to try and figure out a solution to prevent these type; of events from occurring.

As if that wasn't enough for American Falls, a bomb threat was made at the American Falls High School earlier in the week. The threat was written on a wall within the high school on Saturday, Oct. 17. The Power County Sheriff's Office was notified of the threat on Monday, Oct. 18, and an investigation commenced. The threat was for Monday, Oct. 26, and stated that the school would blow up.

The investigation is still ongoing, however, on Thursday, Oct. 22, a meeting was held regarding the threat and the decision was made to continue with school that Monday by placing the school in a partial lockdown. The use of Explosive detection K-9s from Pocatello Police Department and the Idaho Falls Police Department had been requested and were present. Also present were numerous emergency services from within Power County.

Students and parents were notified Thursday and Friday, Oct. 22 and 23, of the situation and that school would be held that day.

Law enforcement was also present along with other emergency services throughout the day. Anyone with information relating threats made against the American Falls High school are encouraged to contact the Power County Sheriff's Office.

"I'm just happy everything went well and nothing bad happened. There's no other way to handle these situations except for taking them seriously. If something happened and we knew about it and didn't do anything, it would be devastating. I'm whipping a dead horse but I'll always advocate for a school resource officer. It doesn't necessarily completely prevent these things from happening but a lot of it gets filtered out with one there," added Power County Sheriff Jim Jeffries.

Copyright 2015 The Power County Press, American Falls, Idaho. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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