San Diego

Threat Closes Torrey Pines High School, Suspect Arrested

"The threat included weapons and came from a former student" - Torrey Pines High School principal informed parents

Torrey Pines High School students returned to class Friday following the arrest of a former student who is suspected of making a threat that led to the cancellation of classes Thursday. 

SDPD said it took 21-year-old Kevin Gregory Matlak into custody without incident at around 1 p.m. in Point Loma. He was charged with one felony count of making criminal threats.

The department said Matlak was not in possession of any weapons when he was arrested, and officers are still investigating his potential access to weapons.

SDPD said the threat, which was reported at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, included an image of a firearm and expressed desire by Matlak to end his own life and the lives of others.

An investigation was launched by SDPD Northwestern Division and in coordination with school administration and district officials upon reports of the threat, police said. 

Superintendent Eric Dill said the threat made on Instagram was reported by former students and involved only Torrey Pines HS. 

"We understand this can be unsettling for students, parents, and staff alike and want to assure you we will share updates as additional information becomes available," Dill said in a written statement.

NBC 7 spoke to a man who said he was once a target of Matlak's violent behavior. He said he was initially surprised by the allegations against Matlak, but ultimately, not surprised.

"I've seen his threatening behavior and I would say it was not a surprise, the man said. He wished to stay anonymous out of concern for his safety. "He would react explosively and would be verbally and physically aggressive and violent."

SDPD said the district and school officials decided to cancel classes out of an abundance of caution. 

A senior awards night event and several athletic banquets were among the events canceled, Dill said. 

The statement from Principal Rob Coppo read: 

"Early this morning we received information from SDPD regarding a threat to Torrey Pines High School. The threat included weapons and came from a former student. SDPD is investigating and is working closely with our administration team and district representatives. While we do not have any other details regarding the threat, in an abundance of caution, we have decided to close the school. Please keep you students home today 5/31/18. We will continue to update you when we have additional information."

When NBC 7 called the school's main line, a recording repeated the same information.

The school serves approximately 2,500 students.

Dill said the school will be back open on Friday.

"I apologize for any disruption today's school closure may have caused you and your family, but the serious concern for the safety of our students and staff warranted this decision," he said in a follow-up statement Thursday evening.

Anyone with information regarding this incident can call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or Northwestern Division at (858) 523-7042.

In February, a 14-year-old freshman was suspended and detained by law enforcement officers after making verbal and written threats to harm others. In that case, no weapons were found in the student's home.

The following week, a 17-year-old former student was accused of threatening to conduct a shooting at the school. A search of the teenager's home found no weapons. The former student was arrested and booked into San Diego Juvenile Hall Detention Facility.

No other information was available Thursday regarding the current threat.

The school schedule reflects finals will be held the week of June 11 with graduation scheduled for Friday, June 15. 

Please refresh this page for updates on this story. Details may change as more information becomes available.

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