Anonymous tip leads to arrest at Steamboat Springs High School
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 18-year-old Zachery Durham. After contacting staff at the high school, police found Durham and 19-year-old Damion Rhodes in the school parking lot, where Rhodes was allegedly seen loading a magazine into what appeared to be a rifle.
Officers approached Durham and Rhodes 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.
Durham and Rhodes were arrested on charges of interference with an educational institution and attempted felony menacing. Both were booked into jail.
Durham is not a student at Steamboat Springs High School, but Rhodes does currently attend SSHS, 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, SSHS 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 Safe2Tell.org.
To reach Spencer Powell, call 970-871-4229 or email him at spowell@SteamboatPilot.com
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.