The Greenwood Village Police Department was notified on May 26 of a possible threat to Cherry Creek High School, stemming from an individual through a social media message, according to the City of Greenwood Village on Twitter.
A person who lives outside of Colorado received a social media message from an “unknown subject,” threatening to “shoot up the school,” according to a news release from the Greenwood Village Police Department.
The person who received the message didn’t know the person who sent it, according to Greenwood Village police Cmdr. Joe Gutgsell.
Police determined that the school that was referenced is Cherry Creek High, the release said.
As a precaution, a “secure perimeter” was initiated for Cherry Creek High, Campus Middle and Belleview Elementary schools, the city said on Twitter.
“Secure perimeter” status means all students and staff outside the buildings are brought inside, all exterior doors are closed and locked, and normal activity continues inside the buildings, according to the news release.
“We’re continuing to try to identify who the person was who made the social media threat,” Officer Rodney Valenzuela, a spokesperson for Greenwood Village police, said at about 3:30 p.m.
The message was reported to law enforcement “back East,” which then forwarded the case to Greenwood Village police, Gutgsell said. He said he couldn’t specify which state the case originated from.
Campus Middle and Belleview Elementary both sit on the same campus property as Cherry Creek High, according to the news release.
Greenwood Village Police Department school resource officers were on scene and were working with Cherry Creek School District security staff to develop a “structured release plan” for the school population, the news release said.
At about 1:15 p.m., police were working with school district security to carry out the dismissal for Cherry Creek High students, Valenzuela said. May 26 was a half day for the high school due to finals week, he added. The other two schools were operating on a regular schedule, he said.
Campus Middle and Belleview Elementary were released at normal hours, Gutgsell said.
Police were notified of the possible threat at 10:15 a.m., the city said via Twitter.
Valenzuela in the afternoon on May 26 said he was not aware of any other threats directed at any other school in Greenwood Village or in Cherry Creek School District as a whole.
Greenwood Village police did not respond for comment May 27 regarding updates on the situation.
If you're feeling overwhelmed
If the situation at Cherry Creek High School and nearby schools is affecting your mental health, there are resources that can help.
When asked about the school district's resources, a Cherry Creek School District spokesperson pointed to a list of the district's mental health programs.
For immediate help, you can contact Colorado Crisis Services, which provides confidential help for any mental health, substance use or emotional crisis, 24/7 and 365 days per year.
You can call 844-493-TALK (8255), text TALK to 38255 or visit Colorado Crisis Services' website.
Phone calls are free, confidential and professional, the website says. For texts, standard text message rates from your cell phone provider will apply, according to the website.