Los Angeles county sheriff officials have since claimed that the threats were a prank, and a search of the suspects home discovered no guns.
Threatening posts on Instagram resulted in more than two dozen phone calls from concerned users, and have since been removed from the site. The posts included photos of guns, dead bodies and a sign for Valencia High School.
A cry for attention on Instagram
The images were posted on Saturday night, accompanied by comments including: “There will be a huge f****** shooting soon and a lot of you f****** are going to die.”
Despite the inflammatory nature of the posts, police deputy Joshua Dubin has since stated that the suspect “actually had no intention of carrying out these threats,” but they must be taken seriously.
One post claimed that Valencia High School would be the first to be “shot up”, but the attached photo was of a school of the same name in a different state. The images of an extensive arsenal of weapons were also stock photos taken from the internet.
A modern affliction?
The investigation has concluded that the child posted the threats in order to get attention from his peers, and his actions have resulted in a call for greater education in the use of social media.
The Santa Clarita Sheriff station released a statement calling for parents to educate their children of the dangers of misusing social media by maintaining an “open dialog with their teenagers about the ramifications of posting photos and statements which might constitute a crime or cause other issues.”
The fact that the modern bored fifteen year-old turns to social media to threaten mass killings would provide some interesting material for an analysis of the twenty-first century human condition.
“Santa Clarita Valley Station would like to remind all those that use social media to do so with care,” the news release stated. “Parents should have an open dialog with their teenagers about the ramifications of posting photos and statements which might constitute a crime or cause other issues.”