MONTEREY PARK (CBSLA.com) — Authorities Thursday arrested a 19-year-old community college student in connection with threats made against Monterey Park and Santa Monica schools.
The California Highway Patrol first received a threat at 7:55 a.m. from a male “caller who said that he had a gun and was en route to a school campus in Monterey Park,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
The caller didn’t name specific schools, but 14 campuses in the East Los Angeles area were placed on lockdown. East Los Angeles College, which will remain closed for the rest of the day, was evacuated as a precaution, according to Nicole Nishida of the LACSD.
Around 8 a.m., Santa Monica police received a call from a person threatening violence at Santa Monica College.
“We had a potential Santa Monica College student who was suicidal, wanted to go on campus, armed with a firearms and not only harm himself, but harm other students,” Sgt. Richard Lewis of the Santa Monica Police Department said. “He was asked by dispatchers to turn himself into a medical facility to seek some assistance.”
SMC, John Adams Middle School and a nearby preschool were all placed on lockdown as a result.
The unarmed suspect was arrested without incident around 9:30 a.m. inside the psych services department on campus. Officials believe he has a history of mental health problems.
Lockdown orders were later lifted at all Santa Monica schools.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Monterey Park Police Department, Los Angeles Police Deparment and the California Highway Patrol were all assisting in the investigation, which is ongoing.