Aliso Viejo School Remains Closed as Investigation Into Email Threat Continues
Two days after a threatening email was sent to St. Mary’s School in Aliso Viejo, the campus remained closed Wednesday as an investigation continued, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.
Although “there does not appear to be evidence to substantiate a credible threat” to the private school, St. Mary’s will be closed for students Thursday, LASD Lt. Jeff Hallock told reporters. It was unclear when classes would resume.
The email, which investigators believe was sent from outside the United States, indicated a shooting would occur at St. Mary’s “on a date and time that has since passed,” Hallock said. He declined to specify the exact date.
According to the email, the shooting would be accomplished by a person other than the sender, Hallock said. A generic name and physical description was provided in the message, he said, but investigators have been unable to confirm that the person exists.
“At this stage in the investigation, it appears the third party name provided in the email is not a past or present student, faculty, staff, parent or alumni associated with the school,” Hallock said.
Deputies stepped up their patrol presence at the campus after the email was received Monday morning, and school officials modified student movement for the rest of the day.
As a “strictly precautionary measure,” school administrators closed the campus Tuesday and Wednesday, while awaiting additional details of the investigation, Hallock said.
According to its website, St. Mary’s has an enrollment of about about 800 students in grade levels from preschool through middle school.
KTLA’s Tracy Bloom, Justin Burton and Alberto Mendez contributed to this report.