16-year-old student arrested Tuesday after pipe bomb left at Centaurus High School in Lafayette

Principal says alerts should have gone out sooner

LAFAYETTE, Colo. - Lafayette police arrested a 16-year-old male student accused of leaving a pipe bomb on the Centaurus High School Campus, officials said Tuesday.

The teen was taken into custody at his home in Boulder County Monday night, Lafayette Police Department Chief Rick Bashor said.

The teen is facing charges of possession of explosive parts, felony menacing, and interfering with an educational institution, Bashor confirmed.

Students returned to the campus Tuesday after being evacuated Monday.

"We're pretty much just all talking about it, trying to figure out who did it and just what's going on -- if it's still safe in there," said freshman Logan Platt. "I think people are kind of like paranoid but people know it's safe because there's a bunch of cops around."

"There's a lot of rumors going around right now," said sophmore Danielle Ortega. "Just a lot of people asking questions."

In Tuesday's morning update to the school community, Principal Rhonda Haniford, Ph.D. said staff members agreed that alerts should have been sent out earlier.

"[A] phone message (along with texts and Twitter messages for those who have signed up for them) needed to have gone out as well," Haniford stated.

School officials said counselors were scheduled to be available to students Tuesday, and a patrol car kept watch in the school's parking lot before classes started.

A teacher found the pipe bomb in a paper bag inside the school at about 8:30 a.m. Monday and carried it outside, Lafayette Police Cmdr. Gene McCausey said.

"It's so self-less to do that,"said junior Rylee Stever, "because he didn't know what it was and he didn't know if it was going to explode or what, so, I just think it was a really good act and he deserves something for it."

The Boulder County bomb squad removed the bomb from the campus and detonated it a short time later in a nearby construction lot.

McCausey says the device could have hurt people nearby, had it exploded.

"It's a little scary because, like, you do think of Centaurus as really close and really safe and I would have never assumed that it would have happened at our school," said junior Zee Gutierrez.

"I know a lot of people are freaked out but a lot of people are in good moods because we all have each other to go and hug and I still have all my best friends here with me and that's the good of this," said junior Bailey Gisen.

Briggs Gamblin, the spokesperson for Boulder Valley School District, told 7NEWS the district is currently reviewing it's evacuation and communication response. Gamblin said the district did not notify parents quickly enough yesterday morning and will review how to improve responses in similar situations.

"I think in hindsight we should have done a faster communication yesterday morning," Gamblin said. "There was too much of an effort to get all the, to try and think of all the questions a parent could want to know and try to have answers outlined and that probably delayed response too long."

Gamblin said once the investigation is done, the district will also review protocol referring to whether the teacher should have moved the device or left it there.

The FBI and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are involved in the investigation.