Capt. Dan Willis from La Mesa Police tells NBC 7 that officials arrested a 14-year-old on Thursday for making death threats against students and teachers. Nearby resident Jennifer Zamudio said it's important to take threats from students seriously.
Students and staff may have prevented a mass shooting at La Mesa Middle School.
“They could have prevented several lives being lost potentially,” Capt. Dan Willis with La Mesa Police said.
Tonight, the 14-year-old suspect is at juvenile hall for making death threats against several students and teachers.
Police arrested the 8th grader at his home Thursday night around 9:30.
They say he planned to shoot a half dozen people at school in the coming days or weeks.
Investigators even found a hit list at his house.
“The suspect was verbally telling people and also had written that he was going to take a firearm to school in the near future and he planned on targeting specific teachers and students,” Willis said.
Investigators say the 8th grader was targeting more than 4 students and at least 2 teachers.
Apparently, he had written a plan for the shooting massacre on paper at his house, where police also found a gun.
They say this wasn't a case of a kid just venting.
“It's another thing to start planning it and being very specific as far as naming people and how you would go about doing it and things like that,” Willis said.
On March 1st, students heard the suspect make verbal threats and told staff, who immediately called police.
Now investigators are looking into the possibility that the teen was being bullied.
“Maybe in the suspect's mind whether that contributed to why he wanted to do this or not. Right now, we don't really know why.”
Parents who live near the school say it's a scary situation.
“It could happen in your own back yard. You hear about it in the news and being a teacher myself, you want to listen to your students and you never know if they're just venting or how serious they're going to take things,” Jennifer Zamudio said.
The district attorney should get the case Monday morning.
The suspect will most likely be arraigned on Tuesday for the felony crime of making death threats against a school.
If anyone has information on this case, please call the La Mesa Police Department at 619-667-1400.
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