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Boy arrested in 'prank' school threats that sent Blaine schools on lockdown, canceled classes

After additional threats, the boy eventually admitted that he sent all of the threatening text messages and that he meant them as a prank, police said.

BLAINE, Wash. — Editor's note: The above video originally aired May 25, 2022.

The Blaine Police Department said it arrested a boy Saturday after "prank" school threats led to classes being canceled and an hours-long lockdown of the main campus earlier this week.

On Friday, the Blaine Police Department received reports of threatening text messages sent to three juveniles. Blaine police said in a statement Saturday that the messages were "very similar" to the threatening messages that led to the Blaine School District's main campus to go into lockdown on Wednesday.

Just after 12:45 a.m. Saturday, Blaine police were made aware of an additional threatening text. Officers contacted the boy who received the threat and determined through the investigation that the boy was the one sending the threatening text messages. Blaine police said officers confronted the boy about "inconsistencies" in his story. 

The boy eventually admitted that he sent all of the threatening messages and that he meant them as a prank, police said. 

All of the threats were made through a third-party app called TextNow.

After consulting the Whatcom County Prosecutor's Office, the boy was arrested in Bellingham Saturday and booked him into the Whatcom County Juvenile Detention Center. 

"I appreciate the patience you, as our community have had this week. I understand how stressful and difficult it has been," said Blaine Police Chief Donnell "Tank" Tanksley.

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On Wednesday, the Blaine School District's main campus went on lockdown after it was reported one of its students received text message threats from an unknown source. 

The student received additional threats that "escalated in seriousness and indicated a person was in the school with a weapon," according to a joint statement Wednesday from the school district and the Blaine Police Department.

The campus, which includes a primary school, elementary, middle and senior high school, went on lockdown out of "an abundance of caution,” police said.

Police said all Blaine schools had “been cleared and are safe" Wednesday afternoon.

The incident canceled classes Thursday and Friday while police investigated the threats.

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