UPDATE: Third arrest made in fire and vandalism at Tucson elementary school
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A third person has been arrested in connection with the vandalism of a Tucson area elementary school.
Anthony Cruz, 18, faces charges of criminal damage, aggravated criminal damage, third-degree burglary and arson of a structure.
The Tucson Police Department said Joseph Cruz, Jesus Carrillo and Anthony Cruz were seen leaving Kellond Elementary late Monday, Jan. 24.
All three were detained, and 23-year-old Joseph Cruz and 18-year-old Carrillo were initially arrested. Both are facing charges of burglary, arson and felony criminal damage. Charges are pending against the third suspect, according to authorities.
The TPD and Tucson Unified School District confirmed Kellond Elementary, which is near Broadway and Wilmot, suffered more than 60 broken windows and a small fire was started on the roof and contained to the kitchen area.
A Tucson USD risk manager, Nicole Lowery, told KOLD’s Jasmine Ramirez many classrooms were in disarray. The Tucson Fire Department is assisting in the arson investigation.
Lowery called it the worst case of vandalism she’s seen in a very long time.
“I wish I could understand what a motive would be for somebody to cause such intense and disappointing damage to our campus,” she said. “I wish I had an answer for that.”
The school was closed Tuesday as crews worked to clean it up.
“It’s just sad because there are enough issues happening in our communities these days,” said parent Cassandra Alvarez.
Her fourth grader attends the school and they live just a few blocks away.
“It’s kind of devastating because there are so many kids that go there,” Alvarez said. “That is their safe place and now I can only imagine how they feel.”
This is the second incident of vandalism at a Tucson school this week.
Late Saturday night, vandals caused more than $30,000 in damage at Tucson Country Day School. In that case, someone set fire to the school’s kitchen as well as four vans.
Graffiti was also found around the campus.
As of now, the police don’t believe the Kellond Elementary vandalism is related to the incident at Tucson Country Day School over the weekend.
“We’re always on alert for vandalism and crime that happens on our campuses but there isn’t a more heightened alert because of it,” Lowery said.
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