Anonymous tip leads to arrest at Steamboat Springs High School

Spencer Powell
Steamboat Pilot & Today

On Monday, Sept. 26, Steamboat Springs police received a “Safe 2 Tell” complaint via 911, and an arrest was made on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in the Steamboat Springs High School parking lot.

According to a police department news release, the caller described a male who posted a picture of himself carrying a weapon that resembled an AR style rifle, along with a message saying, “full on drive by (expletive) right here.”

“We take potential threats and threats of violence very seriously,” Police Chief Sherry Burlingame said in the release. “We immediately began investigating the incident and attempting to locate the suspect.”

Early Tuesday, police identified the suspect as an 18-year-old. After contacting staff at the high school, police found the suspect and a 19-year-old in the school parking lot, where one of them was allegedly seen loading a magazine into what appeared to be a rifle.

Officers approached the two suspects and reportedly found an Airsoft gun, as well as a machete and three ornamental blades, concealed in one of their vehicles. Police declined to specify who the car belonged to.

“We’re glad officers were able to intercede and that the concerned party shared the tip,” Burlingame said.

The two suspects were arrested on charges of interference with an educational institution and attempted felony menacing. Both were booked into jail.

One of them currently attends Steamboat Springs High School, according to police.

The school was placed in “secure perimeter” for approximately 18 minutes.

During a secure perimeter, all students and staff outside the building are brought indoors and all exterior doors are closed and locked while normal activity continues inside the building.

According to Laura Kubitz, the school’s director of communications, students and staff didn’t panic during those 18 minutes.

“As far as I could tell, the students were going on about their days, and they were sitting out in the common areas, you know, studying or socializing with one another,” Kubitz said. “I think the level was pretty calm at the school at that time.”

This was the second secure perimeter the high school has experienced in the past week, according to Kubitz. On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the high school went into a secure perimeter for 10 minutes after a mountain lion was spotted near the campus. 

“It’s not as serious as a lockdown,” Kubitz said of the secure perimeter designation. “It is just a safety precaution.”

Safe 2 Tell is an anonymous way for students, parents and the community to report safety issues. Reports can be made over the phone at 1-877-542-7233 or online at

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