Deputies: Poway student threatened mass shooting

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POWAY, Calif. — An email threatening that students and a teacher would be shot at a Poway middle school prompted deputies to take a 12-year-old boy into custody and then to a hospital, sheriff’s officials said Sunday.

Twin Peaks Middle SchoolThe email was sent Friday night to a teacher at Twin Peaks Middle School.  It warned the teacher, whose name was withheld, and 23 students would be shot Monday and made references to 3,000 rounds of ammunition and numerous firearms, according to sheriff’s officials.

Deputies learned of the threat Saturday morning and detectives worked with school district officials and a multi-agency technology-related crimes task force to find the source of the email, Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Ross said.

The Twin Peaks Middle School seventh grader was identified by detectives as a possible suspect, Ross said.

About 5:30 p.m. Saturday detectives served a search warrant at that student’s residence.  Several computers along with five rifles, three shotguns and three handguns were seized, sheriff’s officials said.

“At the time we served the search warrant, all the weapons were locked up.  We are told the student did not have access to the weapons,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Bill Donahue.

The student was taken into custody and was admitted to a hospital for treatment and evaluation, Donahue said.

The school sent out emails to parents Sunday notifying them about the threat.

“I was shocked.  To hear it was a seventh grade student — they’re such small children.  It kind of blew me away,” said Terry Bingham, who’s son is a sixth grader at Twin Peaks.

Sheriff’s officials said the case would be submitted to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office for review and evaluation.

“There is no evidence to suggest anyone else was involved in making the threats and it is believed to be an isolated incident,” Donahue said.

“Making a terrorist threat is a felony in the state of California,” Donahue said. “The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and the Poway Unified School District take all threats to school safety seriously and will continue to thoroughly investigate all such threats.”

Sheriff’s officials said students who hear threats of violence or potential violence should contact a school resource officer or call the Crime Stoppers Students Speaking Out Tip Line at (888) 580-8477, or the sheriff’s department at (858) 565-5200.


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