A 15-year-old teen in Southern California was arrested Tuesday after allegedly making threats against his former high school on Twitter and suggesting that he would repeat the Columbine massacre, according to authorities.
Bob Dowling, founder and president of the Tactical Institute, which is a Washington, D.C., organization that monitors social media for threatening statements and alerts law-enforcement agencies and other organizations, told the Los Angeles Times that the teen posted two messages at about 2:30 p.m. on Twitter saying, “I’m recreating Columbine!” and “Chino needs a good shooting,” referring to Chino (Calif.) High School.
Dowling told the San Bernardino Sun that his group saw the tweets two minutes after they were posted.
Dowling’s group notified Chino High officials, who called police.
“We were able to get ahold of the school resource officer, and the officer was able to see that it was, in fact, a terroristic threat,” Dowling told the Sun.
Chino Police Department spokeswoman Tamrin Olden said that the teen is an Ontario, Calif., boy who had been expelled from the school, and he was arrested at his home on suspicion of making criminal threats. Because he is a minor, his identity has not been released, and he was taken to the San Bernardino County Juvenile and Assessment Center.
Olden said that police searched the boy’s home but did not find any weapons.
“We don’t believe there are any additional threats to the students and staff at Chino High,” Olden said.
Although the threats were made after classes had ended, Olden said that police remained on high alert after learning about the tweets.
As the Times notes, Columbine High School, just outside of Denver, was the scene of one of the nation’s worst school shooting massacres. On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered the school heavily armed. They killed 12 students and one teacher and injured 24 other students before committing suicide.
The Chino Valley Unified School District sent a statement to parents saying that school would be in session Wednesday and Thursday. Spring break starts Friday.
“We are grateful that someone saw something and said something,” the district said in its statement. “All threats are taken seriously, and once notified, the district and police department worked together in partnership to keep our students safe.”