David Kenneth Smith was being held on $1 million bail after allegedly making threats against an instructor at Soka University. Photo from the Orange County Sheriffs Department.
David Kenneth Smith was being held on $1 million bail after allegedly making threats against an instructor at Soka University. Photo from the Orange County Sheriffs Department.

A onetime student who allegedly threatened a “killing spree” against an instructor at Soka University in Aliso Viejo was being held Monday on $1 million bail, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

David Kenneth Smith, 40 of Los Angeles, allegedly made the threats against the university staff member “through bizarre email exchanges and a YouTube channel rant,” a sheriff’s statement said.

About 3 p.m. last Wednesday, sheriff’s deputies began investigating a report that Smith had engaged in an email exchange with the unidentified instructor regarding “disciplinary action against the suspect for marijuana use when he attended the university in 2008,” according to the sheriff’s department.

“The suspect’s frustration in the email correspondence escalated until he finally emailed the staff member a link to a YouTube video that showed him sitting with a semi-automatic pistol on his chest talking about the university,” according to the sheriff’s statement. “His YouTube channel also included multiple videos recorded in recent days, in which the suspect talked about his desire to engage in a `killing spree.’ In some of the videos, the suspect is seen holding a firearm.”

Members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center worked on the case, along with sheriff’s investigators, who said they seized nine loaded firearms, all of which were registered to the suspect, upon his arrest last Thursday on suspicion of making criminal threats.

“Extensive resources were dedicated to the case to ensure the suspect did not have the opportunity to carry out his stated plans,” the sheriff’s statement said. “Investigators believed the suspect’s threats were credible and an attack possible.”

Smith was scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Santa Ana.

–City News Service

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