- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

PALISADE, Colo. (AP) - A 13-year-old girl was under arrest Wednesday after authorities say she posted messages on Facebook threatening to use a handgun at her school.

The girl was arrested Tuesday at her home in Palisade after students told administrators at Mount Garfield Middle School in Clifton about the posts. The girl posted images of a handgun but it hasn’t been found so far, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Heather Benjamin said.

There is no evidence the girl actually brought the gun to school but interviews officers did with other students indicated the girl was serious and not joking, Benjamin said.

“Through a number of interviews, they were led to believe that she was intent on that,” she said.

School superintendent Steve Schultz told parents in an email that students reported the posts at the end of Monday’s school day, The Daily Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1lPAvBc) newspaper reported.

“While we wish the threat had been reported earlier, we appreciate and commend the students who came forward,” he said in the email.

The girl was arrested on suspicion of menacing, unlawful possession of a firearm by a juvenile and interference with students at a school, a felony charge that requires her to be held in a juvenile detention center.

Her arrest came on the same day authorities in Douglas County announced they had foiled a plot by two 16-year-old girls to harm students and staff members at their high school in Highlands Ranch, also thanks to a tip.

Investigators haven’t released details about what they believed the girls planned to do this week at Mountain Vista High School but say they could be charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder

Authorities were alerted to the plot on Saturday via a text-a-tip program developed by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office for schools.

The school was one of a number closed along the Front Range because of snow on Tuesday but students were back at the high school Wednesday taking finals.

Douglas County school superintendent Liz Fagen praised students Wednesday for alerting officials.

“The disruption of this threat is a good thing and we’re glad for that,” she said.

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