Three Texas high school students were arrested Wednesday after classmates said they overheard a conversation in which the male teens allegedly discussed coordinating a school shooting that involved explosives.
Taylor High School seniors Devant Davis-Brooks, Kadin Watson, and Emmanuel Tejas Pina, all 17-years-old, were charged with making a terrorist threat after they purportedly plotted to carry out a potentially deadly active shooter and bombing incident on campus.
Keith Brown, superintendent for the Taylor Independent School District, told KXAN one of the students who overheard the conversation reported the information to a teacher who immediately alerted the high school principal. Brown said the principal quickly contacted the school resource officer (SRO) to thwart any potential threat. He credited the swift police action in this situation to the district’s new “Blues in School” initiative, which invites law enforcement agents to school breakfasts and lunches. Because of this program, another Taylor police officer was on campus and able to assist the assigned SRO in arresting the three students accused of making a terroristic threat.
Taylor ISD students returned to school Monday greeted by heightened security in response to the Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas, high school shootings. “We have people who are watching, we have cameras everywhere that are monitored by law enforcement 24 hours a day, seven days a week, now, so schools are a safe place,” said Brown.
The superintendent told KVUE Taylor ISD implemented 26 new safety measures since Texas Governor Greg Abbott unveiled his School and Firearm Safety Action Plan nearly two weeks after an active shooter killed eight students and two teachers and injured a dozen others at Santa Fe High School. Brown said students are encouraged if they “see something, say something.”
He also underscored: “There are no joking matters when it comes to school safety now. Nothing about shooting up a school or blowing s up a school is funny.”
Taylor Police Chief Henry Fluck said he was “impressed” the incident was reported by responsible Taylor High students and was taken seriously by school administrators.
The school district released a statement on their Facebook page. It read, in part: “As soon as we learned about the threatening comment, we immediately involved the Taylor Police Department and they quickly investigated the situation.” The case remains under investigation. District officials assured families “there is no danger to students.” They also said they take any threat to students and teachers seriously.”
According to Taylor police, none of the three students possessed weapons at the time of their arrests. Williamson County Jail records showed they were booked on charges of making a terroristic threat.
Brown said the three 17-year-old suspects also face three days of suspension upon their release. Afterwards, they must attend an alternative education disciplinary school before they can return to Taylor High.
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