Society

California Middle Schooler Planned to Shoot 23 Students, One Teacher

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A 7th grade student in Poway sent an email to a school administrator over the weekend threatening to shoot a teacher and 23 students on Monday morning.

After detectives investigated the boy’s house, they found numerous rifles and handguns.

The threat was sent to an administrator at Twin Peaks Middle School on Friday night. The email referred to 3,000 rounds of ammunitions and explained the types of firearms he planned to use during the shooting.

A teacher referenced in the email was confused about why the student included her and referred to her by name, while the students were unnamed.

“I kept asking myself, ‘Why me?’ Literally wracking my brain trying to figure out who it is,” she said.

Though the student sent the email anonymously, detectives worked with the Poway Unified School District and San Diego’s Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team to identify where the email came from.

Once the student was identified, they searched his house and confiscated rifles, handguns and several computers.

On Saturday night, the boy was taken into custody and admitted to a local hospital for treatment and evaluation.

Authorities believe he was planning to conduct the shooting alone as no evidence suggests anyone else was involved.

“This could really happen anytime, anywhere,” a Poway teacher said.

Superintendent John Collins said, “Obviously, this situation is both saddening and disturbing. However, it is critical that all touched by this threat understand that the system worked.”

Capt. Bill Donahue of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said the weapons were locked up when they searched his house and were under the supervision of his father.

“The student did not have access to the weapons. They were in the care and custody of the father,” Donahue said.

In a press conference Sunday, Collins praised everyone involved in the response to the threat:

“Following the protocols that the district and local law enforcement have established, each agency acted along with the district in full coordination to resolve the threat issue quickly, efficiently and without incident,” said Collins. “We would also like acknowledge the parents of the child, thanking them for their cooperation in what must be an extremely difficult situation regarding their child.”

Classes will continue as usual on Monday but extra security will be enforced.

(NBC San Diego)