14-year-old student arrested for copycat school shooting hoax

Visalia Police Officers arrest a La Joya Middle School student for threat of school shooting on campus, which he admitted was a hoax

VISALIA – After a hoax school shooting threat was posted to social media about Redwood High School, a copycat was posted about La Joya Middle School. Both students have now been arrested.

On the evening of April 24, Visalia Police Department (VPD) detectives received information regarding a social media threat indicating that a shooting would take place at La Joya Middle School on Monday. The threat was very similar to the Redwood High School threat that had happened previously. Detectives immediately began an investigation. Youth Services Officers took over the investigation this morning and began conducting interviews. The suspect was identified as a 14-year-old student at La Joya Middle School and the boy admitted the threat was a hoax.

He was arrested and was booked into the Juvenile Detention Facility for criminal threats and making a false report of an emergency. We want to reassure all VUSD parents that there is no further threat. In a press release VPD encouraged all parents and students to talk about social media and the outcome of posting inappropriate material.

“The safety of our children is our PRIORITY and anything that threatens that will not be tolerated. ALL threats will be taken seriously and those posting such threats will face serious consequences,” VPD’s press release stated.

There will be an increased law enforcement presence throughout all VUSD campuses this week. Remember, if you see something, please SAY something.

Crime Log

Just before 4:30 p.m, on April 27, VPD officers were called to the area of Ben Maddox Way and Noble Avenue for a traffic accident involving a car and motorcycle. The Traffic Unit was called to take over the investigation and process the scene. Throughout the investigation, officers found that the motorcycle was traveling northbound on Ben Maddox and collided with a Toyota SUV. The rider of the motorcycle was transported to Kaweah Health Medical Center where he later died. Drugs or alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the collision. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Traffic Unit at 559-713-4237.

Just before 10:30 p.m. on April 23, VPD officers were called to the 1200 block of North Park for a report of a shooting. When officers arrived, they found a man who had been shot. The victim was transported to Kaweah Delta Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The Violent Crimes Unit has taken over the investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Luis Berrocales at <a href=”tel:+1559-713-4727″>559-713-4727</a>. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact the Anonymous Tip Line at <a href=”tel:+1-559-713-4738″>559-713-4738</a>.

Start typing and press Enter to search