Steven E. White
On monday, March 5, a student whose name has yet to be released, brought a homemade bomb to Pine View High School, but was thwarted that same day, in his attempt to detonate it. Students reported, and mentioned that the boy openly supported ISIS, as it was later confirmed that he had pro-ISIS paraphernalia in his room.
The school was quickly evacuated, and the boy was promptly arrested after FBI and a Bomb Squad investigated. The St. George Police Department stated, “Based on our investigation we can confirm this was a failed attempt to detonate a homemade explosive at the school.” They concluded that after thoroughly examining the explosive device, “bomb squad members indicted that if it had detonated; the device had the potential to cause significant injury or death.”
The suspect was reported by concerned students who stated there was smoke coming out of his ‘suspicious’ backpack. Cops say there could have been many deaths and injuries if the boy was not reported. Pine view roughly has a student body of 1,100 individuals. The St. George police force praised the students, saying, “Their immediate action played a large role in this incident ending with no injuries.”
The department noted that “It was also determined that the male had been researching information and expressing interest in ISIS and promoting the organization.” When authorities searched his room, they found flags and other items that showed interest and promotion of ISIS. The boy is currently being questioned further about raising an ISIS flag at another high school in Utah, a day after the florida shooting last month. It is unclear if he would be pressed with additional charges if found guilty of raising the flag, which he has openly confessed to; as he is already guilty of manufacturing, possessing, and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. D.J. Bolerjack tweeted, “NEW: @sgcitypubsafety is charging the suspects “failed attempt to detonate a homemade explosive” inside Pine View High School yesterday with: 76-10-402: Manufacture, possession, sale, use or attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction prohibited.”
Additional charges are still pending, as the investigation continues, while the boy resides in juvenile detention. The police force released an official statement, giving the reasons this ended in a positive manner. They stated: There were several factors that came into play yesterday which led to a positive outcome. First , we’d like to recognize and thank the students who notified faculty and the SRO of the suspicious backpack. Their immediate action played a large role in this incident ending with no injuries.
Second, the School Resource Officer program which allowed an officer to immediately be on scene to access and address the situation appropriately. He was then able to call in appropriate teams, such as; the Washington County Bomb Squad and Jax, the bomb detecting K-9 from Dixie Regional Medical Center, to identify and disarm the explosive device. We’d also like to say thank you to the Bomb Squad and to Jax and his handler for responding to the call out.
Third, the Washington County School District, who have implemented drills to practice for incidents such as this, which led to a quick and seamless evacuation of the school.
Finally, we’d like to thank the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, who responded to assist with everything from the investigation itself to barricading roads.”