Law Enforcement Calls Shooting Threats a Hoax, While Another Student is Arrested
RANCHO CUCAMONGA – Deputies interviewed over two dozen students when threats of shootings were spilling out at three area high school campuses on Monday. Investigators determined the threats were a hoax. However, another student was arrested for posting a photo of himself with a gun.
Some 27 people, mostly students, were interviewed when Twitter threats of shootings surfaced involving the high school campuses of Etiwanda, Alta Loma and Los Osos High Schools. Warnings began circulating through social media outlets between Sunday and Monday.
Investigators said the tweets came after last week’s investigation of a Lone Hill Middle School student who was targeted in San Dimas, located about 20 miles from Rancho Cucamonga. That Instagram posting turned out to be a non-event, said officials.
The newest threats were considered seriously by both school officials and law enforcement, which placed a deputy at Alta Loma High, in addition to campus security personnel. A law enforcement official confirmed the newest threats were a reaction from last week’s incident when two girls were carrying on a dispute. Both girls were contacted and advised of possible consequences if the posts continued. A sheriff’s office spokesman said that Deputy Miranda Young was dispatched to investigate the social media tweets, which also included Facebook posts. Young interviewed approximately 27 students before she narrowed it down to the two female students, who were not identified due to their age.
Meanwhile, an Alta Loma High School student, Andrew Riccardi, 18 and presumably a senior, posted a picture of himself with a gun on a Tweet that read “Well mom said I had to go to school better pop the trunk first” according to a report from ABC7 News. He was arrested on campus in front of other students. He admitted to posting the photo, but said the gun was a replica. A search of his home revealed that his father did have guns in safes that were not accessible to Riccardi, but they did find nun-chuck weapons in his room, and two large fixed bade knives in his car, which he had driven to school. Riccardi was charged with threats of violence.
School officials were aware of the posts, especially when a number of students said they would not be attending school on Monday. It is possible Riccardi’s post was in reaction to the other posts and rumors circulating.
CrimeVoice staff contributed to this story