Crisis counselors at Poway school after shooting threat

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

POWAY, Calif. — Crisis counselors and extra staff were expected to be at Twin Peaks Middle School Monday to help students cope with their feelings about a 12-year-old boy’s threat to open fire on the Poway campus, specifically to kill 23 students and a teacher.

The boy was taken into custody and then to a hospital for treatment and evaluation on Saturday, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

On Friday night, the boy sent an email to a Twin Peaks administrator, saying a teacher, whose name was withheld, and 23 students would be shot, sheriff’s officials said. He also allegedly made reference to 3,000 rounds of ammunition and numerous firearms.

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

They identified the boy and went to his home to serve a search warrant around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Several computers and numerous rifles and handguns were seized, sheriff’s officials said.

Sheriff’s Capt. Bill Donahue told reporters at a news conference that the five rifles, three shotguns and three handguns had been locked up at the time the search warrant was served. The child did not have access to the weapons, he said.

“Obviously, this situation is both saddening and disturbing,” Poway Unified School District Superintendent John Collins said in a statement. “However, it is critical that all touched by this threat understand that the system worked. An anonymous threat was made, identified and with multiple agencies working together, the threat was averted.”

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,” Ross said.

“Making a terrorist threat is a felony in the state of California,” Ross 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.


    • Guest

      So what makes you think he didn't know where the key to the safe was located??? Or know the combo?? Quite likely that both he and his parents denied knowledge of how to access the firearms to try and avoid prosecution. Ignorant people like yourself are how tragedies occur.

      I am all for owning firearms but there are times when erring on the safe side is of benefit to the community as a whole. Those parents will get their guns back in time with the added knowledge that their child has a loose screw.

      The system worked in this case; you should be grateful for that.

      • Jeff

        The system did not work!

        Ignorant people like yourself are how tragedies occur, listen to your own words they ring true in your case!

      • A C

        Yes, I would not be surprised if the parents lied about his access to the guns to avoid prosecution. The kid may have also known where the key/combo was hidden without his parents knowledge. The guns were confiscated because they are evidence in a crime and need to be dusted for fingerprints. They may find that the kids fingerprints are on a few and that he had practiced with them in the past. This would tell a different story.

  • Pertinax

    "The boy was taken into custody and then to a hospital for treatment and evaluation on Saturday, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department."
    "Several computers and numerous rifles and handguns were seized, sheriff’s officials said."

    I think I would have informed the authorities, as they were taking the boy away, that unless and until received ALL of my property back, they will be KEEPING him. And no, I will NOT pay for that.

    Persons in this position would be wise to make their kids read this article and inform them in advance: "Make this kind of trouble for ME and you will NOT be back!"

  • Jeff

    One of the dumbest things I have ever heard of, so a kid gets upset, goes the district web site clicks on a email link, and spouts off. What the law enforcement authorities should of done, found out who it was, then went to the parents, but no they go to a judge who has no common sense and get a warrant to raid the home. This is just another line law enforcement of people reacting and not using any common sense a logical method of investigation. They should of also checked the kids military background, along with his gun registration to see if he was a real threat. And they justify it by calling a terrorist threat, wow what to cover up your screw up!

  • Utterly disgusted

    No act of violence was done. The threat of yes. Get the kid the help he needs. Why the seizure of the weapons if they were legal and locked up? Oh that's right, because liberals and the government want law abiding citizens disarmed! The sheriffs office should be ordered to return all of the firearms or be brought up on charges of theft.

  • Bruce

    Why the concern with guns lately have we all forgotten Tim McVey and what he did with fertilizer and fuel alot more damage than any rifle or gun could ever hope to cause.

  • Jason

    What system? The systems starts at home not with the government. Plus, more and more you see this on TV of course the Kids are going to see it and want to be in the light of attention. As far as video games yes, I agree that kids are using video game of act of violence. Need to put more control into that also it starts with the parents first. I remember I get my butt beat if I ever thought or doing something like this. The gun control for what I have weapons and a safe. If you break in and steal the guns they won't fire. I take my fire pins out and other parts of it to.

  • Beavis

    Sheriff's department taking guns away from people that did not make any threats. Makes sense. I am surprised that the deputies used so much restraint and did not resort to shooting the family, after all it would be "justified".

  • David

    As a responsible gun owner and father, I would gladly turn over my fire arms if my child behaved the same as this poor boy. Gun rights are one thing, but if you know that there is even a shred of doubt that your kid would harm people with your own fire arms, then by all means, the police can HOLD my fire arms. They do not take and keep them unless you displayed criminal negligence. I would expect the same thing if my sibling came back from war suffering with PTSD; want to keep everyone safe then remove the risk.

    • Jeff

      I am a responsible gun owner, and no I would not turn over my guns.

      You need to get a hold of reality, law enforcement has no reason or obligation to give your guns back. And what the kid did was display a criminal negligence that's why they took the guns, duh. What the child did was involve them in a criminal action, there is no reason to return them.

      And to get the guns requires you file the proper paper work. Remember the guns are evidence now, and can be held Indefinitely. Now your unarmed, and that is news to the criminals who roam your neighborhood.

  • Guest

    As someone who's father had guns (shotguns and a .45 military semi automatic pistol), I figured out where the keys were to both the gun cabinet and the gun safe when I was around 10 or 11, if not younger. Anyone who is sure the kid didn't have access is likely wrong.

  • Concerned

    The system did not work. If this kid did not email out, he could have just gone to the school and shoot up kids. The Parents of this kid failed. Why do you have so many guns in your house? This is what gives kids thoughts such as these. And then just not enough disciplinary action nowadays on kids and their judgement. Kids do not know what is right from wrong anymore, and do not fear anything. It is just a shame.

    • Jeff

      So you have kids? From what you wrote you must not, when you get kids and they have all grown up, then maybe you can say something about parenting, but until then keep your advice to yourself, it would save you some embarrassment from the foot in you mouth. It's better to stay quiet and be thought a fool then say something and remove all doubt.

  • Royak

    So…sheriffs served the search warrant. One wonders if this was a measured response (e.g., a few officers) or used as an over-the-top training exercise (Swat Team, neighboring houses evacuated, etc.). Still not clear why the parent's firearms were confiscated. With the kid in custody, they would certainly not be available to him. "Evidence" of what?

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.