Juvenile Suspects Arrested for Threats that Caused the Closure of East Valley Schools Today for the Safety of Students/Staff
Spokane Valley Deputies, Major Crimes Detectives, and RIG 9 Crime Analysts worked throughout the night with East Valley School District Administrators and the East Valley High School Resource Deputy D. Bruner to investigate social media threats made on SnapChat. With the Warrant Service Group’s (WSG) assistance, two juvenile suspects were arrested, and search warrants were safely served as part of this ongoing investigation at multiple locations.
Due to these threats, EVSD Administrators decided to close all EVSD schools today as a precaution for the safety of students and staff while these threats were investigated.
On March 30, 2023, at approximately 10:45 pm, Spokane Valley and East Valley Resource Deputy D. Bruner began investigating threats made toward East Valley High School students. The threats, along with statements and depictions of firearms, were mentioned in this group chat on SnapChat.
The threats were made in a closed group chat toward students who support LGBTQ+ advocacy and International Transgender Day of Visibility. Because none of the potential victims were aware of these threats, it does not meet the elements of RCW 9A.36.080 Hate Crime Offense needed to file this charge.
Two juvenile students of EVHS were identified as suspects, search warrants were served, and evidence was seized. A third suspect has been identified but has not yet been contacted because they are out of the area.
The two juvenile suspects were safely arrested and charged with Threats to Bomb or Injure Property (RCW 9.61.160), a felony, and booked into the Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center.
This remains an active investigation, and additional arrests or charges are possible.
East Valley School District staff worked with investigators to ensure the safety of students and staff.
These types of threats are taken seriously but, unfortunately, happen far too often. We want to ensure everyone in Spokane County that hate against any group will not be tolerated and have no place in our community. Differing points of view can be voiced without hate and threats of violence; we should all expect better from members of our community.
Due to our strong partnerships with East Valley School District, and all other school districts in Spokane Valley and the unincorporated areas of Spokane County, threats like this can be addressed quickly and thoroughly investigated.
Parents, please talk to your school-aged children about social media and how the comments/threats they make may result in their arrest. The safety of students and staff is the priority, and one of the most effective ways to prevent incidents like this is for parents to talk to their children about what they post online. Threats, especially toward schools/classmates, will not be tolerated, and causing fear in our schools is NEVER funny.
RCW 9.61.160 Threats to bomb or injure property—Penalty.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to threaten to bomb or otherwise injure any public or private school building, any place of worship or public assembly, any governmental property, or any other building, common carrier, or structure, or any place used for human occupancy; or to communicate or repeat any information concerning such a threatened bombing or injury, knowing such information to be false and with intent to alarm the person or persons to whom the information is communicated or repeated.
(2) It shall not be a defense to any prosecution under this section that the threatened bombing or injury was a hoax.
(3) A violation of this section is a class B felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.