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'Serious' threat against Elizabeth High School not credible, police say

The Homeland Security Bureau told the Elizabeth Police Department about the threat Thursday evening. The school was closed Friday.

ELIZABETH, Colo. — A threat against Elizabeth High School that the district superintendent initially called "serious and specific" was not credible, according to a Friday announcement from Elizabeth Police Chief Stephen Hasler.

Elizabeth High School was closed Friday because of the threat made against the school, according to a letter released Thursday by the district superintendent. 

But EPD released a statement Friday afternoon that said while the investigation is ongoing, there is "no indication there are any additional safety concerns."

EPD's statement said the threat warned there would be a shooting at the school at a specific time.

"Given the time of day the threat was received, the decision was made to close Elizabeth High School [Friday]," the statement says.

EPD said the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security initially notified the district about the threat Thursday evening. EPD then contacted the school, according to the letter. 

"This was new. This came from Washington D.C. from Homeland Security, so although they couldn’t tell us much, that’s a very credible source," Hasler said.

Hasler also said there was no indication at the local level that there was a threat.

"We had nothing on the local radar, on our Safe2Tell, on our 'Text a Tip,'" Hasler said. "I got SROs [school resource officers]. I got cops in the schools. There’s been nothing bubbling around...about anything, any kind of threat to the schools — so to get it right out of left field like that from Washington D.C., that’s weird."

Elizabeth Schools superintendent Douglas Bissonette has indicated a decision will be made later Friday about whether athletic events and activities planned at this school this weekend will move forward, Hasler said in his statement.

The district will open the school for normal classes on Monday, Feb. 24, barring any weather-related issues, the statement says.

Law enforcement heightened its presence at other schools in the district Friday, according to the superintendent's letter.

Elizabeth is located about 40 miles southeast of Denver.

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