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Provo man made threats against elementary school and officers, police say

Police arrested a Provo man Thursday after they said he made threats at an elementary school and then threatened officers who questioned him.

Police arrested a Provo man Thursday after they said he made threats at an elementary school and then threatened officers who questioned him. (Rafa Jodar, Shutterstock)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

PROVO — Police arrested a Provo man who they say made threats against a local elementary school.

Robert Aaron Prina, 46, was booked into the Utah County Jail Thursday for investigation of making a threat of terrorism, assaulting a police officer and making a threat against a school.

Police were called to Timpanogos Elementary School, 449 N 500 West, after a note was found Thursday that said "there was going to be a bomb and a school shooting," according to a police booking affidavit.

"Maybe school shooter or maybe school bomber coming need tell all teachers may need real evacuations maybe need get to news," the note stated.

Based on witness statements and school surveillance video, police said they learned that Prina had walked into the school about 3:40 p.m. with a "long knife" strapped to his right hip, wrote the note and then left.

Other officers went to the Boulders Apartments, 750 S. 650 West, where Prina lives to talk to him.

"I announced it was the police department and he got agitated and said he did not trust the police. I asked if he was at the school earlier and he said, 'Yes.' Robert said he got the information from the internet about the school shooting and bombing," the arresting officer wrote in the arrest report.

Prina then made a threat to shoot the officers, according to police.

"We tried to talk to Robert to get him to come outside and he was hitting the back side of the door and saying that he was going to blow up the apartment, saying he was a suicide bomber. Robert kept yelling that he was going to blow the complex up and started to count down from 30 seconds," the affidavit states.

Because of the threats, the apartment complex was evacuated and SWAT team and bomb squad were called to the scene. As the officers began to back away from Prina's apartment, they heard what sounded like his door being barricaded from the inside.

After a SWAT team arrived, a negotiator began communicating with Prina and eventually got him to come outside and surrender without further incident.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News

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