Student at California middle school in custody, suspected of threatening mass school shooting

Email referred to 3,000 rounds of ammunition

POWAY, Calif. - A student at Twin Peaks Middle School in Poway is in custody, suspected of threatening a mass shooting at the school.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, on Saturday morning, deputies from the Poway sheriff’s station learned about an email threat that had been sent to an administrator at Twin Peaks Middle School the night before.

The threat indicated that on Monday, Feb. 11, 23 students and a Twin Peaks Middle School teacher would be shot. The email made reference to 3,000 rounds of ammunition as well as numerous firearms, according to a sheriff's department news release. The teacher is not being identified at this time.

Detectives worked with Poway Unified School District officials and a multi-agency technology-related crimes task force to find the source of the email.

Detectives identified a 12-year-old student who attends Twin Peaks Middle School as a possible suspect. On Saturday afternoon, detectives served a search warrant at the student's residence. Several computers, along with numerous rifles and handguns, were taken from the residence, according to the sheriff's department.

The student was then taken into custody and was admitted to a local hospital for treatment and evaluation. There is no evidence to suggest anyone else was involved in making the threats and it is believed to be an isolated incident, according to the sheriff's department.

This case will be submitted to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office for review and evaluation. Making a terrorist threat is a felony in the State of California.

Officials with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and the Poway Unified School District said they take all threats to school safety seriously and will continue to thoroughly investigate all such threats.

An email sent to parents Sunday morning from Principal Kelly Burke read in part:

"As you can imagine, this incident is likely to draw considerable media attention, possibly even at the national level. Please take the time to discuss this situation with your children today, to ensure their comfort and safety.  At school, we will have counselors on hand to address the needs of any students who may feel vulnerable. I ask for your patience and understanding as we manage this situation and trust that we remain committed to keeping the safety of our children our highest priority."
 

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