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Update: Wildfire Continues to Grow; Containment…

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.

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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