A Southern California teenager was arrested after he allegedly used Instagram to make graphic and violent threats against students at Valencia High School in Santa Clarita, authorities said over the weekend.
The Instagram threats included photos of guns and dead bodies as well as sexist and racist language, according to an L.A. County Sheriff's Department statement.
At least one post included a photo of a “school marque,” deputies said. However, …
… the image was of an out-state campus of the same name and not the local Valencia High School, the sheriff's department said.
In fact, the photos used were “stock” images from the Internet, and when deputies searched the teen's home they found no weapons. According to a sheriff's statement from Saturday morning:
Detectives recovered information that shows the suspect acted alone and no actual plan to assault any students or school had been formulated. No firearms were found at the residence, and the suspect’s family does not own any firearms. Based on statements made by the suspect, it appears he made these posts to get a reaction from friends on social media, realizing too late that the threats were being taken seriously.
Beginning Friday night, deputies received more than a hundred calls from people concerned about the threats, sheriff's officials said.
That prompted an investigation from the sheriff's Career Offenders Burglary Robbery Apprehension, deputies said. They ultimately tracked down the suspect through “several leads,” according to the statement.
A search warrant was executed and the boy, who was not identified because he's a minor, was arrested, cops said. He's a student at a Santa Clarita-area school, they said.
He would likely be released to county probation officials.
Despite the hollow threats, “increased security is planned for the local high schools and junior high schools due to this event,” said Lt. Brenda Cambra.