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Threat at Kirtland Central High School results in no arrest

Penciled message in bathroom stall alerted officials
San Juan County Sheriff’s Office investigated the March 28 school shooting threat at Kirtland Central High School, but no arrests were made. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

An report of a potential shooting at Kirtland Central High School on March 28 was investigated by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, but resulted in no arrest.

According to an incident report, a deputy was contacted by Kirtland Central safety officer David Hamlin about 10:31 a.m. March 28 and told that writing had been found in the girls restroom of the “TC” building that read “Sch Shoting 12:28.”

The deputy spoke with the student who reported the writing, took photos of the writing and reviewed video footage on the school security system.

The deputy’s report stated that he spoke with three subjects after advising them of their “juvenile advisement and waiver of rights.” He had them write the text as seen on the restroom wall. The third writing sample showed “similarities” to the writing in the restroom, so the deputy questioned her further.

According to the report, the subject changed her account of which stall she used during questioning and admitted to using the stall where the text was found. She denied writing the supposed threat.

The deputy’s report stated that “according to the school janitorial staff, the bathroom had been checked at 0615 hours (6:15 a.m.) and no writing had been discovered. I saw approximately 10 females use the restroom but only four stood out due to the amount of time they used the restroom. I was unable to get a confession from any of the females I spoke to.”

Unable to determine who wrote the threatening message, the deputy stated that he had no further leads or evidence with which to “petition or pursue charges in this case.”

The 2019 Senate Bill 146 made it unlawful for a person to make a school threat. Violation of this provision of New Mexico Criminal Code would become a fourth-degree felony.