A high school-age male is in custody after an alleged threat that closed Milton-Freewater area schools today.

The Umatilla County Sheriff’s office announced the development this afternoon. Specifics on the time of arrest and the identity of the male were not provided. He is lodged at the Juvenile Justice Center in Walla Walla on investigation of fourth-degree assault and disorderly conduct.

Authorities said the male had already been a suspect in an assault complaint in the Milton-Freewater area involving another high school-age male. That’s how law enforcement became aware of the alleged threat to commit a shooting at McLoughlin High School.

Consequently, schools in the district were closed down today in the interest of safety while an investigation took place.

Umatilla County Sheriff’s authorities said they located the suspect and his guardians this morning. The boy denied making threats toward the school or any other place and had no intention to follow through. He also had no access to firearms, the announcement said.

Deputies nonetheless found sufficient evidence to arrest him in connection with the events.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, vickihillhouse@wwub.com or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/VickiHillhouse.

Vicki covers business and economic development, including tourism, the Port of Walla Walla and the Strictly Business column, as well as features. She has been reporting for the Union-Bulletin since late 2001.