After Friday's tragedy, it's mindboggling that someone would joke around about a school shooting. A 17-year-old Prescott girl, however, is accused of doing just that.
Both Prescott High School and Taylor Hicks Elementary School were placed on lockdown Friday after school officials received a report about a gunman in the area. When questioned, however, the student who made the report told authorities she "made it up," Fox 10 News reports.
The girl now faces felony charges for the hoax.
The student reportedly told school officials that she received a phone call from a female caller who told her that a friend's brother was armed and heading for the school. The caller reportedly said that the gunman was "on a rampage" and "going to do some damage."
Police arrived about 2 p.m. and established a perimeter around the school. The school was put on lockdown while authorities tried to locate the gunman. Taylor Hicks Elementary School was also locked down because the girl reported that the gunman was heading from that area, authorities said.
When the girl was questioned, however, investigators began to notice inconsistencies in her story. Eventually, the teen cracked and told authorities the whole thing was a hoax. She reportedly called her cell from her home computer using a web-based phone number.
The student has been booked into a juvenile detention center on felony hoax charges. Under Arizona's criminal code, any person who makes a false report of terrorism with the intent that it will result in an emergency response or police investigation is guilty of committing a hoax. In making the false report, the teen in this case arguably knew it would lead to action by both school administrators and law enforcement.
Committing a hoax is a Class 4 felony in Arizona, and any person convicted of it may be required to pay the expenses incurred during the resulting emergency response or investigation. Juveniles convicted can be ordered to pay the expenses as restitution.
No word yet on what drove the teen to commit the hoax. Maybe she thought it would get her out of classes for a day.
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