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Student Arrested for Alleged Online Threat Against Teacher

A Vista Murrieta High School student was arrested Monday after police determined that a threat he allegedly made on Twitter against a teacher was credible.

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 7:36 p.m. Feb. 5 to include the nature of the alleged threat, according to a news release issued by Murrieta police Sgt. Robert Anderson.

A 17-year-old student at Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta was arrested Monday on suspicion of making an online threat to kill a teacher, police confirmed Tuesday.

A Murrieta police school resource officer became aware of the alleged threat by way of the social media website, Twitter, according to Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad.

The officer called for assistance from other officers at about 12:50 p.m. Monday to the campus at 28251 Clinton Keith Road, police radio traffic indicated.

"(School) staff and PD worked closely on this case and action was taken within minutes of receiving the information about the threat," Conrad told Patch.

When it was determined the student had left campus, officers went to his home address, police radio traffic indicated. The student was taken into custody at about 1:30 p.m. on suspicion of making a criminal threat.

Police searched the student's home for weapons, as the photo seen online showed him with a gun or guns, police radio traffic indicated.

A search of the home revealed no weapons, according to police.

"But it was determined the weapons in the photograph(s) belonged to a family member of the 17-year-old student suspect," Conrad said.

The student no longer had access to the weapons, according to police.

The student was taken to the Murrieta Police Department for questioning, where an investigation ensued and it was determined the threat was credible, Conrad confirmed.

The student was later booked at a juvenile detention center, Conrad said.

"It should be noted all threats against school district officials, teachers, staff, students, buses or bus drivers or the school site itself are taken seriously and investigated by the Murrieta PD Juvenile Investigations Division," Conrad said. "Zero tolerance is the policy if any criminal violations are discovered…an arrest will be made and charges will be submitted to the District Attorney."

Parents of Vista Murrieta High School students on Monday received the following message about the alleged threat:

School administrators were notified and they immediately informed Murrieta Police who investigated the matter and took the student into custody. Police have confirmed that at no time were students in any danger.

Parents can rest assured that the school and district take this incident very seriously and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Our number one priority is student safety and our school has several safeguards and emergency procedures in place to ensure staff and student safety.

In order for our school to remain a safe haven, we must all work together to provide the safe environment that our students deserve. Anyone who has information about this incident is encouraged to contact Murrieta Police Department’s 24-hour dispatch line at (951) 696-3615 or an anonymous call may be made to We Tip at 800 1-800-78-CRIME -or- 1-800-782-7463.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the school office.

In August 2012, two Vista Murrieta students were arrested and charged in connection with plotting a large attack on the school, which they had allegedly made plans to carry out in 2015.

Alek J Hidell February 06, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Without knowing the details, is it possible that things have gotten out of hand? A 17 year old make childish mistakes, perhaps because they are still children. Bragging to one's peers about some teacher they don't like, what they will do... Unless evidence proves more serious, I bet this is much ado over nothing....
DeannaLHL February 06, 2013 at 12:02 AM
I wish they did this everywhere. The Elsinore School District doesn't seem to take it very seriously when one of their teachers is threatened by a student.
Katie Rucker February 06, 2013 at 12:17 AM
When are these kids going to learn? The internet does NOT make you anonymous or invincible! Jeez. Now i just want to know who the teacher was.
Anne February 06, 2013 at 12:44 AM
Chances are this was just a kid acting stupid BUT if it was just ignored then the kids would never get the message that it is not ok. We will never know if it was real or just mouthing off but the police and the school cannot take that chance.
Ally February 06, 2013 at 01:19 AM
It may be that the child-in-question said something to a friend in a "bragging" manner to kick off this investigation.... but I'm sure it was the pictures of the student with weapons that investigators and law enforcement are more concerned with. Not to mention the alleged threat that was made. I don't think this is out of hand at all. I think this kind of thing needs to keep happening. Kids need to learn to control their tempers and words. Just because they get mad, doesn't give them an excuse to make threats to anyone. Also, I wouldn't exactly label a 17 year old as a child. A person of the age of 17 is closer to the status of adult than child. ...maybe if the teens and children see that this kind of behavior won't be tolerated, fewer people will act out in this manner.
Pat D February 06, 2013 at 03:32 AM
A student goes into a school and shoots teachers and kids and everyone says why didn't they see the signs and stop him before he did it? A kid makes a threat against a teacher with pictures of him holding weapons and the police arrest him and people say "He was just a Kidd making childish remarks. You cant win....
Alek J Hidell February 06, 2013 at 03:35 AM
I bet he gets hammered and it effects the rest of his life....
mesamama February 06, 2013 at 05:27 AM
I'm sorry but when are "kids" going to learn that you can't make threats and not expect to get in trouble. Kids today are coddled and need to learn the basics of your actions have consequences. Whether he was going to act on it or not doesn't matter in today's world. Good for the school resource officer for acting quickly.
Kim Olson February 06, 2013 at 02:47 PM
My son is a student at this school and nothing was sent home with him regarding this incident. So while school representatives say they sent something home I know for a fact not all students received this notification. I even checked my son's backpack before sending him off this morning just to be sure. I'd like to point out this is the second time this school year that a Murrieta Vista student(s) have been arrested for the threat of violence, remember the bomb threat last fall? So here is my question, where are the parents? Why are they allowing their children to make these types of threats, why are they not monitoring their behavior on the internet and why are they allowing their children to get to the point where they are threatening physical violence to begin with. Is there no disipline anymore? Before anyone assumes that I don't know what I am talking about let me give you some background, I have 6 kids, we are a middle income family and my children are held responsible for their actions. Never in a million years would I allow them to get to the point where they felt physical violence was the only way to handle a situation. Shame on the child involved, and shame on the parents for not teaching their child a better way of handling their anger and how threats on the internet can lead to this outcome.
SA February 06, 2013 at 05:08 PM
Terrorist threats against anyone should be investigated and prosecuted if found true; as normal chemically balanced people do not act like such. I hope this “child” seeks (or is ordered to) the help he needs to deal with any anger issues... I am sure the apple does not fall fare from the tree.
Erin February 06, 2013 at 05:18 PM
I hope the student gets charged with something, even if it is minor and isn't allowed back at the school. This makes me so sad whenever I see something happen at Vista because I am a former student and I have so much respect for the teachers and faculty that work there. I'm glad they were able to handle this situation immediately.
Lisa February 06, 2013 at 05:43 PM
I agree and respect most of the comments on this page. One thing I have noticed is that this school has had more incidents than most. My question is, Why??
Lisa February 06, 2013 at 05:43 PM
I agree and respect most of the comments on this page. One thing I have noticed is that this school has had more incidents than most. My question is, Why??
John Lane February 06, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Alec I have no idea how old you are or what you do, but I DO know how you think. Whoa, dude. Kid? 17 years old! You don't know the details? HE POSTED A PICTURE OF HIMSELF WITH A GUN ON TWITTER AND PUT A THREAT TO KILL A TEACHER IN WRITING ON TWITTER. Pretty solid details, mate. Much ado about nothing? An angry, idiot "kid" (no details available on the nature of his parents or how he was raised) does what I just wrote, which was reported by the outfit that you just commented on, and that's no big deal to you. How would you feel if nobody followed up on this matter and the "kid" followed through with his threat? Would he have? Probably not, that much I can lend some agreement to you about. However, the more threats are ignored, the more kids that show up and blast away.
MonaRoloson February 06, 2013 at 06:42 PM
@ Kim Usually the way the school communicates with parents is by phone. They have an automated system that makes a phone call and plays the recording. You should call the school and update your contact phone numbers or check your voicemails. I am sure they do not send out paper notices with high school students, most of those papers wouldn't make it home. I get phone calls from the school, when ever anything happens. Even when they have a emergency drill, my child is absent, sporting events happen at school and Sunday with the weekly events.
T Whitaker February 06, 2013 at 07:48 PM
I have Grandsons at this school and did receive a recorded message as stated in the article. The school and the Police were correct in their response to this young man's threats. By ignoring him, a tragedy could have happened and we would all be asking why? Hopefully this young man will receive the help he needs.
SA February 06, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Great question,.. parents are to blame...
Lemmy February 06, 2013 at 08:47 PM
My son is also a student of this school, I got a call-all where the principal talked about the incident and that it was taken care of. Maybe you need to update your phone number.
Lemmy February 06, 2013 at 08:51 PM
All schools have incidents, some just dont make them public. I've heard of other local schools having incidents that never make the news.
Allie K. February 07, 2013 at 04:43 AM
If you do not know him personally, like I do, don't be so judgemental. It was a misunderstanding. Yes, it was wrong to post the tweet, but it wasn't meant in a serious manner. He does not need help, he was joking. It was just a coincedence he had that picture up from weeks prior.
Ed February 07, 2013 at 04:32 PM
If this happened to YOU and you didn't know the person, YOU would have acted the same way others are feeling. This may be a good kid but don't joke about threats! YOU have to take responsibility for your actions!
Ed February 07, 2013 at 04:37 PM
If this happened to YOU and you didn't know the person, YOU would have acted the same way others are feeling. This may be a good kid but don't joke about threats! YOU have to take responsibility for your actions!
R. Ramos February 07, 2013 at 08:55 PM
"Dale Sawyers Taught there a few years back... the inmates run the prison... a complete mess and I would never send my two kids there under any circumstance." Reply · Like· December 18, 2012 at 5:21pm The above quote was about Canyon Springs High School teacaher. The teacher that posted that, works at Vista Murrieta High School now! Were is your comment about the school you work at now? Is it also a prison? Remember what you wrote Mr. Swayers.....Karma
Gabriela February 07, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Does anyone know if this is related to what happened Monday in Old Town Murrieta there was a helicopter in the air and police cars zoomed thru the streets
Brenda February 08, 2013 at 08:25 PM
"Parents of Vista Murrieta High School students on Monday received the following message about the alleged threat:" Yes, its a phone message and I have recieved them periodically over the years for one reason or another.
Brenda February 08, 2013 at 08:30 PM
"The student was taken to the Murrieta Police Department for questioning, where an investigation ensued and it was determined the threat was credible, Conrad confirmed." This statement by Conrad kind of makes me believe the teenager did admit to some issues with the teacher and did make the threat with ill feelings and it was found to be credible. Meaning he expressed that he did do it, and meant it? Perhaps the teacher knows better then anyone if this student has shown some anger towards him/her during the school year to make it even more credible. Think these kids are looking for attention from peers these days badly, and I truly hope that is all it is and they are NOT serious about wanting to harm people.

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