Visalia Police Department says El Diamante shooter threat was ‘not credible’

High School principal says it was a typical day on campus Monday although some students did stay away

VISALIA – The threat of a possible shooting at El Diamante High School had students, staff and parents nervous Sunday night, but by the time school started on Monday things were somewhat normal.

El Diamante Principal Kimberly Nelson made parents aware of the threat just after 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 22. In her email, Nelson said Visalia Unified School District administrators and the Visalia Police Department were made aware of potential threats of a shooting at El Diamante on Monday. Detectives immediately began investigating the threat. A half hour later, Nelson sent out a second email notifying parents the threat “was not credible” and that school would resume with the district’s normal, late-start Monday schedule at 9 a.m.

Sgt. Mike Short, public information officer for the Visalia Police Department, said detectives discovered the threat was the result of an argument between two individuals, whose identities could not be released because it was an ongoing investigation. Short said the conversation involved talk of El Diamante but the school was not the target of threatening statements.

“This was not a threat focused on the school, staff or students,” Short said.

On Monday morning, Short said additional officers were assigned to the high school as a precautionary measure. In addition to the Youth Services Officer assigned to El Diamante, VPD added a traffic officer, K9 unit and plain clothes detectives patrolling the area.

The threats came just a week and three days into the new school year and did scare off several families from allowing their children to come to school. Students reported about half of the chairs in every classroom were empty on Monday.

For those who showed up, Nelson said the school day went on as scheduled.

“Today was a typical day on campus for both students and staff,” Nelson said. “Some parents did choose to keep their children home.”

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