SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com/AP) — A 15-year-old boy arrested Sunday on suspicion of posting online threats to shoot students at schools in the Santa Clarita Valley apparently did so as a prank, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
The teen, who was arrested after investigators served a search warrant at his home, wrote the posts on social media site Instagram to get a reaction from his friends, officials said.
The suspect “actually had no intention of carrying out these threats,” Deputy Joshua Dubin said at a news conference. “We still take it very seriously.”
Authorities were notified about the posts around 10 p.m. Saturday.
“Many of the posts that were made contained hateful-type messages — racist, sexist threats to students — and that’s what immediately got deputies involved,” Dubin said.
About 12 hours later, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley station reported that one person had been arrested but that their investigation was ongoing.
Due to the suspect’s age, deputies did not disclose his name but said he was a high school student in the William S. Hart Union School District, one of several districts in Santa Clarita. The suspect’s Instagram account has since been deactivated.
“We’re confident that we do have the individual that is responsible for this,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Tim Vander Leek told KNX1070. “I guess what’s a relief is that there were no weapons found at the location.”