On Monday, students at Pine View High School in Hurricane, Utah reported a “suspicious backpack that had smoke coming from it“ according to a statement made by the St. George Police Department. After an investigation, it was determined that inside the backpack was a homemade bomb. The campus was then evacuated and officers were able to disarm the bomb safely.
“After examining the device, bomb squad members indicated that if it had detonated, the device had the potential to cause significant injury or death,” the police stated.
The suspect, a teenager the police describe as a juvenile male, was later arrested on the same day after police searched his home and found bomb-making materials. Investigators also believe the suspect is the same person who spray painted “ISIS is comi” on another school’s building and switched that school’s American flag with an ISIS flag all of which happened the day after the deadly Parkland, Florida shooting. The police added that the suspect had been “researching information and expressing interest in ISIS and promoting the organization.”
On Tuesday, police thanked the students who reported the incident saying they potentially saved the lives of the 1,110 students who attend the school.
“We’d like to recognize and thank the students who notified faculty and the [school resource officer] of the suspicious backpack. Their immediate action played a large role in this incident ending with no injuries,” police said in their statement.
At a news conference on Monday, Washington County School District spokesperson Steve Dunham said the attempted bombing was a shock for the small rural community. He stated, “It doesn’t happen. And I think it’s a shock to all of us that something like this has taken place in one of our schools.”