MURRIETA – Sources from the Murrieta Police Department have confirmed that a 17-year-old student from Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta was arrested on Monday, Feb. 4, on suspicion of making an online threat to kill a teacher by way of Twitter, a popular social media Web site. The name of the student was not released.
According to police, a school resource officer saw the Tweet, which included a picture of the student with weapons, and the officer immediately called for assistance from other officers in the area around 1 p.m. on Monday to the campus located at 28251 Clinton Keith Road.
The school staff worked closely with the Murrieta police and responded to the matter within minutes of receiving the information about the threat. The student was taken into custody at about 1:30 p.m. on suspicion of making a criminal threat.
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.
The student was taken to the Murrieta Police Department for questioning and after further investigating the matter, it was determined the threat was credible, but information also indicated that the student was said to no longer have access to the weapons. The student was booked at a juvenile detention center.
A similar incident happened in August of last year when two Vista Murrieta students were arrested and charged in connection with plotting an attack on the school, which was allegedly said to be carried out in 2015.
The Murrieta police says 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 Juvenile Investigations Division, and there is zero tolerance if any criminal violations are discovered. Arrests 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) 782-7463. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the school office.”