Lawndale High Student in Custody After Alleged Twitter Threats

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A female student at Lawndale High School was in custody Wednesday after she allegedly made threats on Twitter about shooting students on the campus, authorities said.


Extra deputies were at Lawndale High School after a student allegedly threatened on Twitter to shoot fellow pupils. (Credit: KTLA)

Deputies at the South Los Angeles Station received a call early Wednesday from a “concerned person” who had seen the alleged threats on Twitter, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

After identifying the student from the tweets, detectives arrived at her Lawndale home by 6:30 a.m. and “confirmed that the … student has sent the messages,” the news release stated.

The girl, an unidentified 17-year-old, was booked on suspicion of felony making criminal threats at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall.

Students on Wednesday identified the tweets that led to the girl being taken into custody. Posted just after 11 p.m. Tuesday, one tweet questions whether the girl should “shoot up” campus, saying she hates “everyone.”

Before that, tweets were posted from the account about a suicide note. Another tweet simply repeated the word “dead” over and over.

Her home was being searched for weapons Wednesday afternoon, but nothing was found, authorities said.

It was not certain if the suspect planned to take any action. Some students said the girl had been stressed at school but would never shoot others.


Administrator said Twitter threats are taken seriously. (Credit: KTLA)

“They haven’t had too many problems with her,” Sgt. Sandy Nitz told the Daily Breeze.  “You have to take every threat seriously, so we have to check it out and go through all the motions.”

Centinela Valley Union High School District Superintendent Jose Fernandez said the district takes such incidents as a serious threat, especially given recent school shootings elsewhere in the country.

“It’s really a tragedy,” Fernandez said. “We had no indication there was any particular danger with this student.”

A school district administrator told KTLA that the tweets had been discovered by an independent organization that scours social media for threats.

“Threats such as these are taken very seriously,” the sheriff’s department stated. “Criminal threats bring fear to students, faculty, parents, and the community. They draw a significant amount of policing resources away from other legitimate purposes.”

Additional deputies were present at Lawndale High to “reassure” students, staff and parents, the sheriff’s department stated.

KTLA’s Christina Pascucci contributed to this report.

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