A former student who prompted a two-hour lockdown at Belleview Elementary School after he sent a photograph of a handgun to an eighth grader was arrested Wednesday in Santa Rosa on suspicion of criminal threats, said Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Niccoli Sandelin.
Sandelin said the Santa Rosa Police Department arrested the juvenile boy on behalf of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office. Sandelin said he did not know the boy’s custody status.
Belleview Elementary School Superintendent-Principal Carla Haakma said the suspect in the case was a former Belleview Elementary School student who graduated from the eighth grade the previous year. He was enrolled at Sonora High School and had recently transferred to a high school in Santa Rosa.
An eighth grade boy at Belleview Elementary School said he communicated with the suspect by phone and text message on Tuesday night. He provided school staff with messages on Wednesday morning, Haakma said.
The messages told the eighth grader not to come to school on Wednesday and said "I'm coming there” with the photo of the handgun, which had a lock on it and the clip out.
The current student asked the suspect, "why are you doing this?"
"For the entertainment," was the response.
The lockdown was initiated at approximately 9 a.m. and Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the school. The lockdown was lifted at about 11:20 a.m. following the juvenile suspect’s arrest in Santa Rosa.
Belleview Elementary School is located in the Crystal Falls and Phoenix Lake area of Sonora off Kewin Mill Road. It has over 200 students between pre-kindergarten and eighth grade and approximately 30 staff members.
Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at (209) 588-4526 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @g_ricapito