SIERRA VISTA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A man living in Sierra Vista is now facing terrorism charges after law enforcement learned he threatened a school shooting in the area before 2019, according to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.
The CCSO was advised by the FBI and The Arizona Fusion Center, also known as Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC), of a social media threat that was traced back to an account reportedly owned by 27-year-old Kurtis Lemaster, who was living in Sierra Vista.
After the CCSO’s Terrorism Liaison Officer was notified of the threats, deputies and detectives located Lemaster’s house and conducted surveillance while a search warrant was obtained.
According to the CCSO news release, they learned that Lemaster had recently lived in Michigan, where threats were also made to two subjects in the Pontiac and Detroit areas, to attack those subjects and their families. Lemaster used an alias on his social media account but the technical forensic investigations personnel of CCSO were able to identify him shortly after receiving the report of the threat in Cochise County.
Lemaster was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Cochise County Jail. He now faces charges of Making Terroristic Threats and two counts of Threating and Intimidations and remains in jail without bond.
“It is a very difficult time in our nation today with the real threats we deal with every day, and when someone hides behind a social media platform to threaten the safety of our children, we take that very seriously,” said Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels. “We want to ensure that our citizens know how committed we are to keep them safe and we will take any action possible to be successful in our mission.”