Police: Edmonds-Woodway HS student arrested for ‘credible threats of violence’ against school


Updated to include message from the EWHS principal to families and staff and statement from Edmonds mayor.

Edmonds police early Monday arrested a 16-year-old male Edmonds-Woodway High School student “for credible threats of violence at the school.”

The suspect — an Edmonds-Woodway sophomore — was booked into the Denney Juvenile Justice Center jail for felony harassment, Edmonds police spokesperson Sgt. Josh McClure said, adding that police “worked with the Edmonds School District as this unfolded.”

According to McClure, friends of the suspect received messaging “within a social media app” that included photos of the suspect and “a realistic-looking BB gun.” Those friends — concerned about what they had seen — then contacted their parents, who alerted police just after 10 p.m. Sunday.  The suspect — an Edmonds resident — was arrested at his home early Monday morning. The BB gun was recovered as well as additional evidence, police said.

In response to the incident, police provided an additional presence on the school campus Monday morning.

Police added that “the suspect’s parents were incredibly cooperative and voluntarily turned over a lawfully owned firearm to detectives for safekeeping.”

In a statement Monday, Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson said that “thanks to the quick action of our community of taking the threat and picture of a realistic-looking gun seriously, we will never have to know if this student would have acted with his parents’ unlocked handgun, located in their house, to commit a senseless act of violence, which has been all too common.

“Because of our students, parents, Edmonds police officers and the school district, a potential deadly tragedy was prevented,” Nelson continued. “This is a perfect example of how gun violence in our community can be prevented when we work together.”

Edmonds-Woodway Principal Allison Larsen sent the following email message Monday morning to families and staff, alerting them of the incident:

Dear EWHS families and staff,

The Edmonds Police Department arrested one of our students overnight following a credible threat of violence against our school. We want to thank the students and families who reported information about this student’s threat right away by calling 911. Actions like that are a critical part of our district’s safety plan.

Support for students
This threat of violence may bring up different feelings for students and staff, especially following the mass school shooting in Texas just a few weeks ago. If your student needs support, please reach out to our counseling office.

Report a threat right away
We want to remind and emphasize the importance of reporting any safety concerns. If it is urgent, please call 911 right away. For other threats or safety concerns, please contact staff directly or use Safe Schools Alert, a tip reporting service:

1.   Phone:  425-551-7393

2.   Text:   425-551-7393

3.   Email: 1480@alert1.us

4.   Web:   http://1480.alert1.us

5.   App:  Available on both Google Play and App Store. Use school code # 1480 when prompted during the app download.

Thank you 
Thank you for your support and please reach out if you have any questions.


Allison Larsen

  1. Edmonds School District Board should return police officers to campus – this is a very clear warning sign.

    1. I certainly agree the decision to remove school resource officers was hastily enacted when it was ‘trendy’ to do so, without any serious or real input from students, teachers, or staff. The board was gambling the lives of the students in a move that only made things worse off for everyone.

      We got very lucky here, and I would be interested to know what type of prevention steps the ESD has taken to prevent similar threats or acts of mass violence in the future.

      According to a Federal School Safety Commission Report, “most school safety laws passed after high-profile school shooting incidents primarily focus on preparing for, not preventing, such events.”


      The likely most important first step would be to seriously consider putting school resource officers back in the schools. This time we should focus on how to work with those people who have phobias of police, and help them to develop healthy relationships with law enforcement, rather than cater to those prejudices against police by removing them fully from our schools.

  2. This is a very good article a very important message from many. I loved it and I appreciate the phone numbers and all ways to report or respond to dangerous situations of activity. Way to go Edmonds. All of you. This young man I hope will get counseling at Denny Youth and he will be treated well there. xo Deb.

  3. Why don’t we have School Resource Officers one campus anymore? Why does Nancy Katims not value student safety? Clearly, armed and trained police on campus only increase, not decrease, student safety. Why does Nancy Katims not value student safety and instead value her own extremist position of zero law enforcement?

    Does Nancy Katims value student safety or her own political positions?

  4. Having school resource officers certainly does not prevent every act of violence, but NOT having them certainly does increase the chances in every instance. In addition, campuses resource officers do more than just sit around waiting for an act of violence. If they are the right person for the job, they are seen as an advocate for the students and help them on their journey to become fully functioning adults in our society. The school board made their point when it was trendy to do so. Hopefully now reason can return to that body and they bring our officers back to campuses as soon as possible.

  5. While I appreciate the work of everyone involved, Nelson made a comment the the parents gun was unlocked. Do we know that as fact? Seems like he’s making up his own narrative.

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