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Social Media Foils School Gun Violence in California

May 30 2014, 9:57pm CDT | by , in News | Other Stuff

Social Media Foils School Gun Violence in California
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Rocklin, Cali., police determined an expected threat to students at local high schools through Instagram and Twitter.

At approximately 12:15pm on Thursday, May 29, Rocklin, Cali., police were alerted to possible school violence at Whitney High School in the Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD). 

According to the article posted by the Rocklin Police, “3 Arrested in Rocklin High Schools Gun Violence Scare,” an unintentional plot for school violence was discovered based on a potential social media hoax.

The threats come less than a week after the shootings at the University of California Santa Barbara.

A concerned parent called the school's principal and informed the principal that her son was aware of a rumor that guns and a shooting were set to happen the next day. Police and RUSD administration immediately began investigating the potential threat. 

Taking the rumors seriously, the cooperative authorities looked into every possible threat. An Instagram profile created seven weeks ago read "Whitney High School new world order 5/30/14." However, there was no evidence of guns, shooting, or threats appeared on the profile. 

The unusual "Instagram post, along with date of 5/30/2014 caused alarm for some students."

Students that spoke to the investigation team stated the profile was of mild interested but had remained empty since April 10th. Furthermore, the team found that the Instagram had been largely ignored the post until they realized the next day was the 30th.

While nothing came from the investigation, students, parents, and faculty were advised of the potential threat. Stating clearly that "no credible threats had been discovered" and the scare was based on "a large-scale rumor." The posters of the alarming post have not been found.

Later that day, Rocklin Police discovered three separate threats on Twitter that were not believed to be part of the Instagram post. The new threats of gun violence targeted both Whitney High School, as well as Rocklin High School, and caused chaos for parents and students.

Following the new threat leads through social media eventually amounted to the arrest of unnamed two juveniles and 18-year-old Justin Herrmann of Rocklin. 

The juveniles have been charged with Annoying Electronic Communications (653m PC) and Criminal Threats (422 PC) while being booked at the Placer County Juvenile Hall. 

Herrman was arrested and booked into Placer County Jail based on charges of "making criminal threats through a third party (653.2PC) and "obstructing a police investigation (148s1PC).

 

Since the criminal investigation is still ongoing, any information remains confidential. The police do note that the information came from a variety of sources and leads. Although the threats have been determined to be gun-related and resolved, the Rocklin Police increased patrols of RUSD schools.

 

 

Source: Rocklin and Roseville Today

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