Man accused of threatening North County school arrested

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Laurel Elementary School

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A 61-year-old North County man was arrested Friday on suspicion of falsely reporting an impending shooting at an elementary school near his home six days after the second-deadliest campus gun rampage in U.S. history.

Alex Paul Rodriguez of Oceanside was taken into custody this morning at the College Boulevard residence he shares with his wife, according to police.

Rodriguez allegedly left a message on a voice-mail system at Laurel Elementary School at 4:15 a.m. Thursday, claiming that there would be a shooting there about seven hours later.

“The caller ended the message with what is being described as maniacal laughter,” Lt. Leonard Mata said.

Due to the threat, teachers kept pupils inside locked classrooms for the day, and police officers intensively patrolled the western Oceanside campus and surrounding neighborhood.

Investigators were able to trace the menacing call to a cell phone owned by Rodriguez, according to Mata.

“Police found no evidence in his home that suggested Rodriguez intended to carry out the threat,” the lieutenant said. “No firearms were located. The motive for the threat has not been established.”

Rodriguez was expected to be booked into Vista Jail on suspicion of making a terrorist threat.

The incident occurred amid heightened security nationwide in the aftermath of last Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which took the lives of 20 pupils and six adult staff members.

8 comments

  • Anthony

    It seems the man got off by flirting with the idea, taking it to the level of threatening to do it. This could've been a precursor to an attack down the road.

    OPD very well may have prevented a national tragedy.

  • Lilly

    I am apart of this school. It was scary a little for me, but we all laughed about it not to be mean. All our parents had to pick us up early. And I felt safer in Laurel's hand.

  • rosi

    I am apart of the school it first started you cam in you had to go straight to your class room,you were able to work and not go under your desk.Then teachers started coming in and out with kids.We asked why are they leaving and they said that there was a threat for thee school.So there was 10 or 12 kids left in our class room.On friday in our class there was 11 kids.About 4 or 3 came back.On the other classes there was half people there.We ate lunch in our class we were still safe.

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