A 15-year-old Buena Park High School student took an online shooting threat allegedly made by an Anaheim student and re-posted it, but he was not going to be arrested as investigators don’t think he committed a crime, Buena Park police said Thursday.
The boy, who was questioned by police Thursday, indicated that he was reposting the bogus threat in an effort to make the public aware of it since he apparently thought it was legitimate, said Buena Park police Lt. Tamra Banks.
“I don’t think he understood what he was doing,” Banks said. “He felt what he was posting was awareness.”
The new school-shooting post, which also was shared on social media, was traced back to Buena Park and claimed the wrong person has been arrested in connection with the violence threatened at the four schools, according to the Anaheim Police Department.
The post said a shooting spree was to be carried out at Anaheim and Buena Park high schools Friday, which is when the original threat said the shootings would happen, but authorities said there is no credible threat.
Still, authorities vowed a stepped-up presence for the rest of the week at the four Orange County schools named in the original threat, despite the arrest of a student who said the post was only a joke.
The increased presence was an effort to reassure parents that everything was OK, Banks said.
A 14-year-old freshman at Western High School was arrested Tuesday night for allegedly making the threat through an Instagram post, according to Kristina Hamm of the Anaheim Police Department.
The teen threatened to commit acts of violence through multiple school shootings at his school, Magnolia High School in Anaheim, Cypress High School and Buena Park High School, Hamm said.
Anaheim police Sgt. Daron Wyatt said Wednesday the arrested student “was super remorseful and he had no means to carry it (the threat) out.”
“It was not a legitimate threat,” Wyatt said. “He didn’t realize the ramifications of it, but the message we like to get out is that it’s not a joke and we will prosecute pranks like this to the fullest extent of the law.”
The online threat contended that the shootings would be carried out Friday. Despite the student’s arrest, some parents said Wednesday they were still concerned about the safety of their children — particularly on Friday.
Police insisted, however, that the campuses are safe.
“The investigation has not revealed the student had the actual means or capability to carry out the threats and the schools are considered secure and safe,” Hamm said.
–City News Service
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