Possible School Shooting in Los Angeles Thwarted by Security Guard, Police Say

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell

Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Wednesday that deputies last Friday thwarted a student's plot to open fire at El Camino High School in Whittier, 30 kilometers east of the Los Angeles downtown, just two days after the fatal mass shooting occurred in Florida.

The sheriff says school threats have been increasing since the shooting at the Florida high school last week. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence, where they allegedly discovered two AR-15 rifles, 90 ammunition magazines and two handguns, the sheriff said, adding that one of the assault rifles was unregistered.

McDonnell said the teen faces a charge of making criminal threats and the brother is accused of possession of an assault weapon and other violations.

Schools across the United States have undergone a series of lockdowns and shutdowns in response to threats and reported threats after a student gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on February 14.

A national organisation that tracks school threats said it has recorded around 50 a day on average since the Florida shooting, compared with about 10 a day on average. An Army veteran, Barcenas claimed he got the guns while stationed in Texas, according to Deputy Martin Maciel. McDonnell said he believed the student posed a serious threat.

The threat at El Camino High School is the latest in California, according to the Los Angeles Times. He said they found various kinds of ammunition in the boy's room, one handgun in the hallway with two loaded magazines nearby and the three other firearms in a container in the garage which did not have a door.

The Norwalk La Mirada Unified School District released a "Safety Message" on its official website Tuesday, in which the case was not mentioned.

"I said, well you can't say those things on a school campus", Chavez said.

And in Norco, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department this week arrested a man who made threats against a college on social media. "I'm just doing my job".

The student apparently indicated he was going to "shoot up the campus", though he didn't issue a threat against any specific individuals, according to Jacobsen.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell credited "attentive" school resource personnel, as well as "diligent" investigators, with preventing what he said could have been a risky outcome. He said the school "felt there was enough there to call law enforcement".

He added that the school has received an influx of threats in 2018 compared to 2017, a troubling rise that has confounded him and anxious his colleagues.

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