Teen made threats to Akins High with smoke bombs, ammo, police say


Austin police have identified the 17-year-old accused of threatening to “shoot and blow up” Akins High School on Thursday as Ariel Alex Ramirez Navarro.

Navarro was booked into the Travis County Jail and charged with making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

After his arrest on Thursday, police seized ammunition and a loaded magazine from Navarro, but no weapon, police said.

The reported threats led to an hours-long lockdown at the school. One Akins student said he spent four hours in a locker room which, for part of the time, was pitch-black. Students’ access to restrooms was limited for a couple of hours.

Parents began arriving in droves later in the day to pick up their children, even before officials shared details about the reasons for the lockdown with the public.

“There’s a line of parents in there who are upset,” parent Charlotte Koch said as she left the campus with her son.

An arrest affidavit filed on Friday said Navarro was a former student at Akins, but was no longer enrolled because of a lack of attendance.

The document said students went to school authorities on Thursday morning after getting off of a school bus and told them that Navarro had shown them weapons and ammunition.

The report said Navarro had a loaded magazine, ammunition and smoke bombs.

“The witnesses (juveniles under 17yoa) had asked the suspect what he was going to do with the items in his backpack and his response to them was, ‘I’m gonna shoot up and blow up the school,’ ” the affidavit said.

After learning of the threat, administrators ordered students and teachers to shelter in place while officers searched the campus, Navarro’s home and workplace.

“His threats caused the public school to go into a shelter in place and then to be fully locked down while emergency personnel searched the entire campus grounds for his location on the campus and to prevent the mentioned violence,” the affidavit said. “This action also placed a substantial group of the public (teachers, students, parents, and the public) in fear of serious bodily injury.”

After an extensive search, police tracked Navarro down to the Southpark Meadows strip mall in South Austin and took him into custody.

Statesman reporter Katie Hall contributed to this article.


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