Police: Teen tried to ‘blow a fireball’ at Smoky Hill HS

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AURORA, Colo. -- Smoky Hill High School in Aurora was evacuated Friday afternoon because of an isolated hazardous materials situation, the Aurora Police Department said on Twitter.

Aurora Police spokesperson Chris Amsler later said students saw someone with a backpack containing a "suspicious powder" near the high school around 10:45 a.m. Around 1 p.m.

Officers detained a 14-year-old male student and they were talking to his parents late Friday afternoon.

The substance was determined to be corn starch and harmless.

"Detectives and fire investigators discovered that the suspect was trying to 'blow a fireball' which is the act of blowing corn starch into an open flame to cause it to flare up," a statement from Aurora Police said Friday night.

The Aurora Fire Department Arson Investigations Unit took over the case.

Emergency responders searched the building and found nothing dangerous. They gave the all-clear Friday afternoon.

If students need to retrieve their personal belongings, they can return to the building through the Activities entrance tomorrow, Saturday, April 19:

-- Juniors and seniors from 8:00- 9:00 a.m.
-- Sophomores and freshmen from 9-10:00 a.m.

Normal activities at Smoky Hill High School were expected to resume Saturday beginning with swim team practice early in the morning.

Twitter activity during the incident:



    • auroramomof3

      The kids weren’t freaked out, and some were having a dance competition in the parking lot while they waited. As a parent of a student at Smoky Hill, I would much rather the school and district overreact than not act fast enough or wait until they confirm the threat is valid. With all the recent tragedy at schools, I want to know my kids are safe!

    • Sheilah Davis

      I agree. I personally know of two Smoky Hill sophmores that had panic attacks that afternoon.

      Earlier in the week, another young man had a panic attack while leaving the building. He was recounting a previous lock down experience. That one was due to a suspicious man in the area.

      There is a negative impact to having so many lock downs. Perhaps the schools should consider debriefing our young people as to minimize the psychological impact.

  • Kasandra L. Tartaglia

    Exactly I agree with auroramomof3, my daughter goes there, and I would rather have school officials “freaking out” over nothing than not at all, PTSD from safety??? educate yourselves before you make comments like that. Watching TV and the news can cause more stress and worry about leaving the house than being cautious in a time and place where school incidents are now becoming a constant thing.

  • Kevin Snyder

    “in a time and place where school incidents are now becoming a constant thing.”
    Actually, this was not an “incident.” Neither is it an incident when a first grader says “Bang” on the playground. You disproved your own thesis…

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