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.

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