16-year-old charged with felonies after pipe bomb found in Centaurus HS

LAFAYETTE, Colo. — A teacher found an explosive device in an area well-traveled by students Monday at Centaurus High School in Lafayette according to police.

Investigators described the device as “unsophisticated” and “similar to a pipe bomb.” They said it could have hurt students.

Early Tuesday morning, police confirmed that an arrest had been made in connection with the discovery. Though a Lafayette Police source would not reveal the identity of the individual in custody, FOX31 Denver’s Chris Jose was able to confirm that it was a 16-year-old.

Later, police revealed that the 16-year-old is a student at Centaurus who lives in Boulder County. Investigators said they have searched the teens residence and “located an additional evidence.”

The 16-year-old has been charged with two counts of possession of explosive parts, which is a Class 4 felony, felony menacing, a Class 5 felony, and interference of an educational institution using a credible threat with a deadly weapon, a misdemeanor.

“There is no known motive at this time,” a statement from Lafayette Police read.

At a news conference Monday night, police said the teacher removed the device from the building shortly after it was placed.

Agents from the FBI and ATF were assisting local law enforcement agencies in the investigation.

Police say a teacher found the device inside the school and moved it outside. That teacher is being commended for that action.

The school was evacuated Monday morning after the discovery. It was eventually closed for the day. Nobody was hurt.

Police took it to a remote location and blew up the object around 12:30 p.m. They say only one device was found.

“Due to the response and assistance of The Boulder County Bomb Squad, the FBI, the ATF and all the other metro agencies who responded to the scene the Lafayette Police Department has indentified a male Centaurus student as a person of interest however at the time of this release no arrests have been made,” a statement said late Monday night.

“Bomb dogs and their handlers from around the metro area responded to the scene and by 2100 hrs (9:00 p.m.) had completed searches of the school and the parking lot, including student vehicles that had been left behind when the school was evacuated. No other devices were located and it was determined that the area was safe.”

Student were allowed to come back and get their vehicles Monday night.

Centaurus will be open on a regular schedule Tuesday. Police are certain the building is safe and secure.

The evacuation was completed shortly before 9:30 a.m. About 45 minutes later, a Boulder Valley School District spokesperson said all students were sent home because of the time issues involved with continuing to shuffle kids at a 1,000-student school.

In an email to parents, the school district said a “suspicious package was discovered this morning,” on school grounds. “Lafayette police were contacted and all students and staff were evacuated from the school site east to Centaur Village Drive.”

“For safety reasons and because of the time it will take police to deal with this incident, the decision was made to dismiss school today,” the email said.

South Boulder Road was closed between Centaur Village Drive and Edessa Drive while officials were investigating. Bomb specialists were also called on scene.

A Lafayette Police spokesperson said school administrators initially locked down the school when the suspicious bag was discovered before evacuating students.