Police, schools deal with SnapChat threat, suspicious man at bus stop


Maricopa Police Department had calls from two schools this week for very different reasons.

Thursday night, Leading Edge Academy reported a SnapChat message by a student stating he was going to “shoot up the school.” Police officers met with the student and a parent at their home.

According to MPD, the student admitted to making threats but said he was joking. Officers determined “he did not have the means to carry out the threats.”

This morning, a “suspicious man” in a car was reported at a bus stop in Homestead trying to approach a student on her way to school at Desert Wind Middle School. He reportedly tried to get her to enter his vehicle. MPD was still investigating this afternoon.

The man was described as being in his 30s or 40s with dark skin and wearing a green shirt with white stripes. He was driving a vehicle “similar to a tan, four-door, Honda Accord.”

Anyone with information is asked to call MPD’s non-emergency number, 520-316-6800.

MUSD reported the incident to police and distributed the information to parents along with stranger-danger tips.

Advice for children:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious activity immediately to a parent, responsible adult, teacher, school administrator, or police officer.
  • If you are approached by a stranger and offered anything, say NO and tell an adult immediately.
  • If a stranger approaches you at a bus stop, tell the bus driver immediately that the person is a stranger.
  • Never walk alone. Always walk in pairs or with a group.
  • Take well-traveled, open routes to school. Avoid alleys or poorly lit areas.
  • Never go anywhere with someone you don’t know.
  • Do not speak to strangers; do not respond to calls or comments from strangers.
  • Stay away from an adult who is asking children for help, as in seeking directions, or looking for a lost puppy.
  • Don’t let a stranger into your home.
  • If you have any fear of an adult stranger speaking to you, walk away.
  • If someone grabs your wrist, make your arm spin like a windmill; yell as loud as you can; then run.
  • If you’re riding your bicycle, keep the bike between you and the adult.

Advice for parents:

  • Keep young children at play outside your home or in the park within view.
  • Make sure that outdoor activities are supervised.
  • Teach your children that they can use any telephone, even a pay phone, to call 911.
  • Teach your children that it’s okay to say “no” to what they sense something is wrong.
  • Have your child photographed at least once a year, more often if he/she is under 5 years old.