Student arrested at home for threatening gun violence at Ridgeview Middle School


VISALIA  – A middle school student was taken into custody last week for threatening to shoot up the school. At 8 a.m. on Sept. 18, the Visalia Unified School District administration was notified by Visalia Police Department that a Ridgeview Middle School student was taken into custody for threats of gun violence.

Visalia Police Officers interviewed other students who attend Ridgeview Middle School prior to making the arrest. The student was not in attendance at school that day and was arrested at his residence. The arrest was coordinated with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office as the student resides outside the city limits.

“District Office and site staff are working cooperatively with Visalia Police to assist with this investigation and to provide our complete support in every way possible,” said Dr. Tamara Ravalín, assistant superintendent of human resources, in a released statement.  “The district takes the most conservative approach and precautions when a report of this type occurs.”

The district office said every VUSD school has established a safety plan which contributes to maintaining a safe learning environment for its students and staff. The district said it will again review its plans and continue its ongoing relationship with law enforcement to ensure the safety and security of Ridgeview Middle School and all schools in the district.

“We are grateful to the Visalia Police Department and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department for their rapid and professional response and on-going diligence to protect our students,” read Dr. Ravalín’s statement.

Visalia Police Log
Wednesday, Sept. 20

At 6:30 p.m. in the 100 block of N.W. 5th Street, officers were dispatched for a disturbance. Witnesses reported two male juveniles harassing an elderly female who was in the area. The suspects used wooden sticks to strike the victim numerous times before fleeing from the area on foot. The victim sustained several injuries and was transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center where she was treated for non-life threatening wounds. Both suspects were arrested near the scene. A 13-year-old juvenile was booked at the Juvenile Detention Facility for charges of elder abuse and assault with a deadly weapon. An 11-year-old juvenile was cited to Probation and released to his parents.

Thursday, Sept. 21
At 11:05 p.m. in the 1000 block of N. Willis St., officers were dispatched to a possible shooting. The victim advised that an unknown Hispanic male attempted to carjack him as he was arriving at a nearby residence. It was discovered that the unknown suspect arrived in another vehicle and brandished a firearm while ordering the driver out of the vehicle. The victim attempted to flee at which point the suspect fired the weapon which is believed to have been a BB gun based on evidence located at the scene. Officers searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect.

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