BANNING (CBSLA) — A 26-year-old man accused of brandishing a gun and threatening to shoot students at Mt. San Jacinto College was charged Friday with multiple counts of making criminal threats and assault with a firearm.
Gregory Joshua Abejon of San Jacinto was arrested Wednesday afternoon at Los Angeles International Airport following a Riverside County sheriff’s investigation into the alleged threats.
Abejon was detained after checking in at the airport in an apparent attempt to flee the country.
He was charged Friday with six counts each of making criminal threats and firearm assault, as well as one count of bringing a gun onto a college campus.
The defendant, who is being held on $2 million bail, allegedly pointed a gun and threatened to shoot a half-dozen student in the campus cafeteria around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
No shots were fired and Abejon fled immediately afterward, Sgt. James Burton said.
“We were in the cafeteria and the gunman had come in and he pointed his gun directly at this one girl,” said one student. “After he pointed the gun he just walked out right away.”
Deputies who provide security at the campus were summoned, along with patrolmen from the sheriff’s Hemet and San Jacinto stations, according to Burton.
The campus was temporarily locked down, along with three nearby campuses — San Jacinto Leadership Academy, Clayton A. Record Junior Elementary School, and Betty Gibble Learning Center.
Following a thorough search, the sheriff’s department began releasing students, faculty, and staff on a building-by-building basis shortly after 1 p.m.
Abejon’s father told CBSLA that his son is a seven-year Navy veteran who was discharged last November after a tour in Guantanamo Bay as a surgical technician.
He said his son went to the V.A. assistance center on-campus Wednesday morning asking for some sort of help but was referred instead to an off-campus site and didn’t know what happened in between that time and the alleged incident.
“I think we need some changes in the V.A. and more help for these guys that are fighting for us,” added neighbor Chris Barclay.
MSJC reopened Thursday with increased security and counseling was provided for those affected by the incident.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)