Los Angeles News

Palmdale school threat suspect identified as 10-year-old

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Palmdale sheriff's detectives identified the perpetrator Wednesday of a Facebook threat that prompted Palmdale School District school lockdowns Tuesday.

A Joshua Hills Elementary School class was threatened in a Facebook posting Monday night. Schools in the district were placed on a "controlled access" status as a result.

Detectives said Wednesday the perpetrator is a 10-year-old from Joshua Hills Elementary.

Detectives conducted an intense and thorough investigation which led them to the subject, and after an extensive interview it was determined that the threat was not credible and was made as a prank. The investigation revealed the subject did not possess the means to carry out the threat.

As a precautionary measure Palmdale District schools will remain on a "Controlled Access" status until the beginning of winter break this Friday December 21, 2012.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Palmdale Station received notice of a potential threat made to a student through a Facebook account Tuesday morning. Parents of a student at Joshua Hills Elementary School contacted the sheriff's department late Monday night.

The sheriff's department requested the school district to take precautionary measures while the threat's legitimacy was investigated.

Sheriff's deputies were patrolling schools in the area, part of increased vigilance after last week's Connecticut school shooting.

Joshua Hills Elementary, Keppel Elementary and Ocotillo Elementary were all placed on modified lockdown.

Palmdale Sheriff's Captain Bobby Denham said Tuesday the threat was made by an individual whose identity was concealed on Facebook. The Facebook page has since been taken down.

Denham said there was an ongoing dispute between students in the 6th grade, with challenges to meet and fight. Threats then became specific Monday night. The concealed identity heightened the legitimacy of the threat, according to Denham. The specific threat targeted an entire 6th-grade class at Joshua Hills Elementary.

Keppel Union School District said front gates were secured and classrooms were locked as a result of the area threat on Tuesday. The district said procedures were back to normal Tuesday afternoon, but staff was asked to maintain heightened awareness.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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