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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Third juvenile arrested for threatening LGBT students at East Valley last week

A third juvenile surrendered to authorities on Tuesday in connection with alleged threats against East Valley High School’s LGBTQ+ students last week, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said.

The student, who was out of town when the threats were made on March 30, was taken into custody on suspicion of threatening to bomb or injure property.

Two East Valley High School students were arrested Friday on suspicion of making threatening comments in a closed group on Snapchat. The threats were made along with depictions of firearms, the sheriff’s office said. The students who were targeted supported LGBTQ+ advocacy and International Transgender Day of Visibility, which was observed on Friday.

East Valley High School staff reported the threatening messages to law enforcement at about 9:30 a.m. on March 30, according to new court documents published in Spokane County Superior Court on Wednesday.

The court documents show screenshots of the Snapchat messages the students shared in a slur-filled chat group. Multiple people, including the three students, shared messages that discuss protesting the Transgender Day of Visibility.

Someone in the group chat, who was not one of the students arrested, suggested keeping their plans to protest the day until they could get more students on board. Some of the messages suggested a protest celebrating “str8 pride.” One of the students discussed sharing obscene posters with swastikas. Students also discuss a possible walkout.

But the screenshots also discuss engaging in political violence with weapons. Some of their messages included descriptions of the type of firearms they own. Others shared photos of the students posturing with firearms.

“Bring lots of ammo … and save a bullet for myself … I’ll go down in history,” one of the students wrote.

Spokane County sheriff’s deputies are continuing to investigate the incident, but there are no longer any outstanding suspects, the sheriff’s office said.

The school district closed Friday as the threats were investigated.

Because none of the potential victims were aware of the threats, the students who were arrested were not charged with hate crimes. The students will be expelled as a result, Superintendent Brian L. Talbott said last week.