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Students Make Alleged Threats Against Vista Murrieta High School

FBI and local law enforcement uncovered and prevented the plan from being carried out, authorities said today.

UPDATED at 11:30 p.m. Aug. 17:

Based on alleged threats of serious violence against students and staff at , two 15-year-old boys were in custody on suspicion of conspiring to commit murder, authorities said today.

On Aug. 8—just days before the Aug. 21 start of the school year—the Murrieta Police Department was contacted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Temecula Sheriff's Department regarding online threats made against a school campus, possibly in Murrieta, according to Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad.

The Murrieta Police Department Juvenile Investigations Unit assumed the investigation when it was learned the two 15-year-olds were involved in the "planning of a serious threat at the high school," Conrad said.

"The Murrieta Valley Unified School District and school administrators worked closely with the Murrieta Police Department during the investigation, as the number one priority is student safety and any and all threats are investigated," Conrad said.

The students were arrested Wednesday at the completion of the investigation, he said. They were both being held at Southwest Juvenile Hall in Murrieta while the case is under review by the Riverside County District Attorney's Office, he said.

The names of the boys—both students at Vista Murrieta High School—were not released by police. However, they were identified in an article by The Press-Enterprise as Reed Peery and Samuel Noble, based on information the newspaper stated it received from the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.

John Hall, spokeperson for DA's office, told Patch he was unable to comment on anything involving the arrest or pending charges for the two boys because of their age.

A resident who did not wish to be identified told Patch they saw Murrieta police and law enforcement "kick down the door" at one of the boy's homes Wednesday.

"They were looking for an AK-47," the resident said. "There were all kinds of police—and undercover—taking pictures and taking all the computers out of the house."

Parents of students at Vista Murrieta High School were notified of the threats in a message Friday from Principal Darren Daniel, according to District Spokesperson Karen Parris. The message can be seen by clicking here.

One of the students allegedly revealed their plans in an anonymous online conversation, Parris said.

"They did have a date planned; it was not in the near future," Parris said.

"Law enforcement officers on the East Coast were notified about the online conversation and the FBI became involved in the investigation. After tracking the posting to Murrieta, the FBI notified local law enforcement," Parris said, in a news release.

"It was determined to be a credible threat by FBI and police," Parris told Patch.

District Superintendent Stan Scheer reassured students, staff and parents that “The district’s top priority is student and staff safety."

"We are thankful that law enforcement officers from the East Coast to Murrieta took these threats seriously and they were able put a stop to this before the threats could be carried out," Scheer said.

“We have been cooperating with local and federal law enforcement throughout the investigation," said the District's Safe Schools Director Wayne Sakamoto.

Sakamoto also noted that district schools have several safeguards and emergency procedures in place to ensure staff and student safety including a strong partnership with Murrieta Police Department.

While the district is prohibited from releasing information about student disciplinary actions, Student Support Director Butch Owens said in a released statement: “Generally speaking if a student makes threats to commit violence on school grounds, the discipline could range from suspension to expulsion.”

According to Parris, the principal of Vista Murrieta High School plans to meet with faculty on Monday—prior to first day of school on Tuesday—to discuss how the campus will address the issue.

Additionally, she said safety assemblies are held for each grade level during the first week of school.

"They will definitely be discussing this during the assemblies," Parris said.

"Thankfully, the person on the East Coast notified the FBI, and the Police Department did such a great job in investigating it," she said.

For more information, contact Parris at 951-696-1600 ext. 1022.

Anyone with information about this incident was encouraged to contact Murrieta Police Department’s 24-hour dispatch line at 951-696-3615.

The district also maintains an anonymous We-Tip Line at 1-800-78-CRIME or 1-800-782-7463, where anyone can anonymously share information about anyone who has committed a crime or who is thinking of engaging in any illegal activities, Parris said.

Laura August 19, 2012 at 02:41 AM
I do know where my 15 yr old son is, i also control his whereabouts, internet use, cell use, text history, ratings on video games and movies. I check his fb page, his friends pages, he isnt running around the neighborhood after school, he's in sports and with his family in his spare time. But he doesnt have a problem with any of that. Because he has nothing to hide. Hes a positive teen with a bright future and he knows it, he doesnt go anywhere that parents that I know well arent supervising. He is an ideal teenager but i have put 15 yrs of time into him, being a stay at home mom i make sure I am a constant presence in his daily life. So i know whats going on all the time..and I have Three younger siblings to care for as well. I would never allow my kids to post the foul language the topics discussed on fb. I would also admonish the kids who were friends with on fb who have similar profiles. These kids are not born bad,,, they have to have been taught to use good judgement by their parents...if you say the internet is to blame...why isnt mom and dad pulling the internet plug, monitoring websites, taking away access until the kids are on a forward path. I dont buy these excuses of oh..the parents are doing everything they can...baloney..send them to boarding school, try some boot camp..there are solutions that are severe but worth it.
mesamama August 19, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Ok, this is a tragedy all the way around for everyone involved. BUT, for those of you judgmental people asking why their fb page wasn't being monitored, you are living in a fantasy world. I monitored my kids pages only to find out they had secret pages with groups of people under fake names. I have an honor student who was an athlete and a younger student also highly intelligent. I have the parental controls on the laptops that don't allow them to log in certain hours of the day. Social media is raising our children right along with us. Yes, this is a horrific thing to read about but how much worse would it have been had they carried through with their threats. Let's get the help these kids and their families need and KUDOS to the person back East who did the right thing.
Jennifer McCaughey August 19, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Sandalina, if you must be so judgemental can you at least wait for all the facts to come out? And Floyd...while what you say is true, it's not that simple. I have seen great kids come out of families with terrible, inattentive parents and I have seen committed, caring parents struggle with that one child who defies them regardless of their consistent efforts to discipline them. We have no way to know what either of these kids parents knew or didn't know...what do you say we hold off condemning them until we do?
Friend of the Family August 19, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Laura, mesamama took the words right out of my mouth. You are living in a fantasy world. It is great that you think you know every move your 15 year old makes. You are fooling yourself. I have two grown children and my last is a 15 year old boy and even though he is also a great kid/Ideal teen, I know for a fact that he has probably done things that I would not approve of. ALL kids/teens do, they are at an age where they are just starting to sprout their wings and are learning how to navigate life. This is where choices come in and no matter how good your kid is, at some point he may not make the right choice and yes your heart will be broken, but it is a fact of life and you deal with it with love and support to get them and yourself through it. You may think you know these great parents that are also supervising your son as you would, but you are not there and you really don't know what happens when your son is not under your supervision. Then there is school, do you sit with him in every class? Are you there during his breaks and lunch when he may be communicating with kids you don't know? I hate to burst your bubble but you have so much less control than you think. The other thing... you are very fortunate to be able to be a stay at home mom. Not many get that luxury. There are many factors as to why this happened, but no one has the right to judge anyone. Be thankful it isn't you going through this and have compassion for the families that are.
Laura August 19, 2012 at 05:53 AM
I disagree...we are a Christian family with conservative values and restrictions are likely more strict than in your homes perhaps. But my kids best friends are actually some of my best friends so I do know them, and they dont go to other childrens houses if I dont know them well enough. I got into trouble between 13-17 so I know all the tricks, but I wont allow my kids to make the mistakes I did, because my mom was working...so I am present in their life, in their friendships and in their social media. I am not judging...but if something happened to my son...I would definately be placing blame on the parents. Who else should we blame? Social media? Society? Ridiculous. Plenty of families out there with kids who arent on fb, or twitter, or the internet even, plenty not allowed to watch tv even. But we are in california where most are very liberal and desensitized to all the acceptable behaviors we think is normal for teens. Bottom line. One look at.this kids fb page would have had me as a parent calling a psychiatrist and a boarding school that teaches tough love. Clockwork orange? Seriously? Where is this kid watching movies like this? I am not saying the parents dont care...or love their kids. But these kids were not just good kids who said something they were totally joking about..?even entertaining these ideas means serious problems.
RiskMan August 19, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Laura. We are not talking about parents that missed a few posts on Facebook or failed to know where there children were at 11:00 p.m. at night. We are talking about an extraordinary situation where the 15 year olds were essentially acting in a very adult way. You seem to be great with your kids and it must be nice to be home with them all of the time. For many parents, that is NOT the reality. We are out there earning a living and will occasionally miss things. You cannot say this is the same thing at all. These YOUNG MEN are clearly not just misbehaving in a way we expect children to. This isn't a case of under age drinking or stealing a candy bar from the local supermarket. All the Christian values, monitoring facebook, and micro-managing your kids wouldn't have helped here. Faced with the same situation, the result would have been the same in your household. Your parental tactics would have been equally ineffective because of the degree of the behavior.
vaiable99 August 19, 2012 at 02:24 PM
laura just shut up
vaiable99 August 19, 2012 at 02:47 PM
so miss laura after reading your comments i took a look at his fb as well. he seems like a very bright young man. did you notice anything besides the one like for weed? or was that all you noticed and then OMG !!! not pot!!!!? how about DaVinci? or Dylan, Elvis and Joplin? the fact he speaks multiple languages? get off your high horse and have some compassion for his parents instead of criticizing them
Cat Burke August 19, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Monsters do exist. Evil – can take any form, even that of a child. Genetics, parenting, societal factors, none of this makes any difference. Evil cannot be altered, nor changed. We cannot allow ourselves to believe the truth of this, because it leaves us all so unsafe. To know that monsters walk among us, disguised as our friends or even a family member, IS too unbearable, but it is the truth nonetheless! Our sense of self-preservation tries to find explanations, and make excuses, for something that simply is ‘just evil’. I pose to you this: We have all, been 15, 19, 24, etc. Through all the trials and tribulations of life, that each and every one of us experience, did we, at any of those ages, ever “PLAN TO MURDER”, ANYONE, EVER? That is the simple difference between good, and evil. Evil comes, in every form – ours, was the form of a friend of over 10 years! Evil serves one purpose – to destroy that which is good! We were chosen, and attacked by evil, BECAUSE WE WERE SO GOOD! Consider yourselves lucky, that your evil was discovered BEFORE its attack upon you… That the police actually did something, before evil was unleashed upon you… For we were not that lucky. Our danger, was not acknowledged… We have done battle with evil on our own, and lost – oh, so much! We, have looked upon the face of evil, and have no choice but to face the truth – that monsters DO exist! To this I can only say - I am sorry EVIL exists!
Friend of the Family August 19, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Laura what is the point of BLAMING anyone or anything? It doesn't change what happend. If having to blame and point fingers makes you feel like a better (although self-riteous) parent. Then feel free. Being that you state you are a Christian family I would think that you would lean more toward forgiveness, support, compassion, love thy neighbor etc...wouldn't that be the Christian thing to do, instead of trying to find blame and chriticizing others.?
sandalina August 19, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Reed's parents missed quite a few important Facebook posts, like a very recent one saying he smokes "rocks". If that isn't a red flag, I don't know what is. But I'm sure I'll catch hell for this comment from the "kids will be kids" crowd... Aw heck, I'm wrong. Let kids "experiment" with smoking cocaine. What could possibly go wrong?
sandalina August 19, 2012 at 04:46 PM
I am so sorry for your unspeakable loss Cat. For your kindness, your beautiful daughter was taken from you. There is nothing more tragic than losing a child.
RiskMan August 19, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Sandalina, nobody said you were wrong for your opinion. The push back you received from a few people had everything to do with your judgments of others without a single shred of evidence to support your theory. The fact that a 15 year old boy claimed to smoke crack, or liked a controversial film like Zero Day, or had a Charles Manson avatar on a website does not support the theory that he would allegedly plot to commit mass murder. Like Cat Burke said, how many of us had tough times and were rebellious in our youth without ever thinking of a plan like this? Do you honestly believe that a reference to crack smoking meant that the parents should have known about this ghastly plan? Really? You have no personal knowledge of the lengths the parents may, or may not, have gone to address the behavior of these boys. That is where you are wrong. You assumed everything without knowing anything.
Laura August 19, 2012 at 08:24 PM
First of all, the attitude of boys will be boys is more common, and sandalina and I are in the minority, which is why I homeschooled & put my kids into charter schools. I didnt want to expose my kids to negative influences until I was sure I had created strong foundations of values in them so when my son is offered drugs he will not only refuse but give the offerer a lesson about doing drugs himself. You mock me and say Im living in a fantasy world but you don't know my child. I am not saying im a perfect parent, by far..! But I am not in the dark, be sure, my kids just do not have the freedom some kids do, but i am also not the extreme by far! My children have never been allowed to walk home from school or take the bus, Ive always picked them up because it ensures theyre safety, and doesnt leave them open to finding trouble. its a different day and age, we need to be vigilant and do more for our future and our kids as parents.
sandalina August 19, 2012 at 08:28 PM
1) The drug references on his Facebook profile should be a red flag and a concern for parents of a 15 year old. 2) A felony arrest for conspiracy to commit murder should also be a cause for concern for parents of a 15 year old. Both of these are independent of one another. Neither are an example of making good decisions. Both are subtle signs that something isn't quite right. School should be a safe place for a child. Luckily, law enforcement was able to prevent a tragedy from occurring. Had the plan been implemented, and my child was harmed, I just might be a little upset. It's an unnerving feeling just to know that your child was even potentially in harm's way.
Laura August 19, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I didnt say he wasnt intelligen, as alot of disturbed youth are, gifted kids are especially prone to bullying or feeling out of place because of who they are. I feel bad for these boys, Im not calling them ignorant, Im simply saying...parents be responsible for your childrens actions, emotional needs, health and welfare. Yes I hold parents accountable for their childrens actions, they are responsible for them at birth, 5 years old, at 15 yrs old. They are 15. They do dumb things. They still do not know better! Parents are supposed to. So, I dont blame or judge any parents. My god this is the hardest job in the world, without directions i know..but I do think they should be held accountable for their kids and should hold all the responsibility even when they have done the best they could. I feel compassion for the boys who need help and hopefully can get it now. Mental health is too often overlooked in our country, and its as important as physical health but its looked down on. It should be a screening in middle & high schools looking for depression, mental health problems, learning disorders, just like vision and hearing.
Laura August 19, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Maybe I wasnt clear...Im not saying its their parents fault for not knowing about this plan....i understand this could have easily been kept secret... But what should have been apparent is the kids have underlying issues which would manifest into wanting to seriously harm others... Thats all Im saying. Hope these families find get healthy and heal and progress forward from this. And i hope parents use this opportunity to talk to their children about this kind of thing and about their lives. Im sure we can all agree on that.
Tracie August 19, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Laura, nothing you said about the boys stuck with me, but the reason you gave for homeschooling your children did! Your kids must not watch tv, go outside or play video games because they MIGHT be exposed to negative influences. Keeping them in a bubble and not letting them experince life is ridiculous! You said your kids have never walked home or ridden a bus to ensure their safety, does that mean you are going to college with them and to work too? How are they gong to learn to make decisions on their own? You really are living in a dream world.
sandalina August 20, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Based on many of the comments, it's completely disheartening that so many do not see the inherent "wake up call" in this. I don't recall making any attacks upon the family other than they've got a problem in the house when their child is on social media (in a completely open profile) making several references to drug use, and is then arrested on rather serious charges. Who knows what kind of intervention the parents staged, if any. But the threat was serious enough to warrant concern from the community. There was a day and age when the actions of kids, good, bad or indifferent was a reflection upon the parents. Those days are obviously gone. Computers and social media have added a new dimension, and there is a need for added vigilance that was not there when we were teens. Yet, there seems to be a prevalent attitude of giving teens their privacy, and in this case, downplaying a very serious threat. On many of the vitriolic comments in this thread, what I read was 'this was no big deal' and it was 'kids being kids'. That is ALMOST more disturbing than the arrests themselves.
sandalina August 20, 2012 at 06:31 PM
...And to whoever called me on the door being kicked in at the kid's house. MY BAD. I read it in another news source...it was a neighbor who didn't want to be identified. Felony arrest warrants, especially when there is probable cause that firearms/assault weapons are present in the house, typically have several officers entering the home in this manner, rather than knocking nicely and giving the occupants the lead time to meet the officers with a hail of gunfire.
Friend of the Family August 20, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Tracie, you hit the nail on the head. Kids/Teens have to experience the reality of life and the world we live in in order to grow into a dependable, responsible, FUNCTIONAL adult. Keeping your kids in a bubble may keep them safe, but it does them no favors in how to navigate life in the real world.
Friend of the Family August 20, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Laura, maybe your one and only comment on this page should have been your last two sentences. "Hope these families find and get healthy and heal and progress forward from this. And I hope parents use this opportunity to talk to their children about this kind of thing and about their lives." This is all that was needed to be said by you and your buddy Sandalina. No one is saying this is just boys will be boys. Everyone is quite aware of how serious this is and it is a tragedy all the way around for everyone. The message here is no one has the right to judge these parents for the mistakes/decisions they may or may have not made. NONE of us live in these homes, YOU do not know any of the circumstances other than what you have read or interpreted from the media. Just remember there are no families that are immune to tragedy. People make mistakes, no one is perfect. I just pray for you both that you hopefully never have to deal with avoidable tragedy in your lifes.... but you know what they say about karma.... Never say NEVER.
Friend of the Family August 20, 2012 at 07:09 PM
You amaze me.... "You don't recall making any attacks upon the family..." then you go on to further make statements that again that they MUST have a problem in the house... And yes is was YOUR BAD reciting what you read in another news source and assuming it was Reed Peery that was taken that way. Get your facts straight lady. This was something they were "planning" (in quotes because knowing what I know, I believe it was crap talk between the boys) to do three years from now, the FBI had all of this information and had already spoke to the parents and their homes were searched before any arrests were made, no weapons or any other preparation materal was found. Why must you make it sound worse/more dramatic than it really was??
sandalina August 20, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Reed Peery's Facebook profile would certainly indicate a drug "problem". I assume, based on your assertions, that the DA will probably drop the murder conspiracy charges? This thing was just a bunch of nothing? Maybe the Patch can update this story as 'much ado about nothing'.
Friend of the Family August 20, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Sandalina I give up. You obviously do not have kids, or have not raised an teenage boy. Kids/Teens and adults state many things online that are not true because it makes them feel cool or they think people will like them more or whatever. Reed Peery does NOT have a drug problem. I know this for a fact. What Reed Peery does have is the need to say and write things to get a reaction out of people/friends etc... And now Reed gets to suffer the consequences, whatever they may be, because of his actions, and rightfully so. This will hopefully be the hardest lesson he will ever have to learn. NOBODY said this was just a bunch of nothing, however there really doesn't need to be people like you making it MORE than it is.
Lisa August 20, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Holy moly people, are you all reading these comments? Here is what I am getting out of it. One person is saying that these kids are acting "typical" and we should pray for them and their families. Others are playing the blame game, parents not at home, kids not being raised properly, and some are even sayng that thier kids are being raised perfectly because they are stay at home mothers. Get a clue people, you cannot make stereotypical statements regarding people you do not know and more importantly have no idea what was going through their minds at the time. So quick to judge and bicker back and forth, you all sound like a bunch of morons. I am the mother of a 15 and 13 year old and work full time to boot. My kids are well adjusted, get good grades and are involved in sports. Doesn't make me mother of the year. Just doing the best I can like many of you out there. The only thing I have to say is "great job" to the young adult who turned these students in and thanks to the Patch for publishing this article. Yes, this is a terrible situation and yes, we should all be informed regarding what transpired. Details of the plot don't do anything but provide a catalyst for future "copycats". We don't need to know anything else except that the students have been stopped and law enforcement is handling the situation. Any comments regarding religion, politics and parenting have no place. Enough said.
cc August 22, 2012 at 07:59 AM
We should all be very thankful that this did not happen. As for friend of family you need to stop saying they were planning this three years from now that doesn't make it any better my son would be a senior by then. Everyone needs to stop with the who is right or wrong the point is a threat is a threat these boys did that and their paying for it and if they were going to do it they are lucky they got caught because if they acted it out they would be paying for it worse and familys would be destroyed. We all need to pray for each others safety and for those to boys and their family.
Amanda September 11, 2012 at 06:18 AM
Agreed Riskman. ..who are we to judge others? No parent is perfect and at times find hard to monitor their children every move. All parents can do is their best.
Amanda September 11, 2012 at 06:25 AM
Agreed. Where there is way, kids can find a way. Communication is the key, try to keep the line open so they will feel free to talk to you. I'm speaking as a mom who is very strict with my children. These2young men can turn their life around. There is hope
Amanda September 11, 2012 at 06:30 AM
Well said friends of family.

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