David Kenneth Smith and his confiscated weapons
ALISO VIEJO — A former student of Soka University in Aliso Viejo was arrested Friday at his apartment in Los Angeles on suspicion of criminal threats. David Kenneth Smith (39) of L.A. had threatened a Soka University staff with a “killing spree” during a YouTube channel rant.
Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputies received reports on the afternoon of November 1st of a former student of the private university engaging in an email exchange with an instructor, and discussing disciplinary action against the suspect for marijuana use when he attended the university in 2008.
Smith’s frustration during the email correspondence escalated. OCSD described the email exchanges as ‘bizarre’ and announced the suspect’s sending an email with a link to a YouTube video showing Smith sitting with a semi-automatic pistol on his chest while talking about the school.
Members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC) worked on the case in concert with OCSD investigators. They investigated a YouTube channel that included multiple videos recorded in recent days, in which the suspect talked about his desire to engage in a “killing spree.” In some of the videos, the suspect is seen holding a firearm.
Less than 48 hours later, OCSD personnel took the suspect into custody and recovered nine loaded firearms, all of which were registered to the suspect.
OCSD stated, “Extensive resources were dedicated to the case to ensure the suspect did not have the opportunity to carry out his stated plans. Investigators believed the suspect’s threats were credible and an attack possible.”
David Kenneth Smith, 40, of Los Angeles, was booked on suspicion of criminal threats. He is being held on $1 million bail at Santa Ana Central Jail. He was charged with one count criminal threats and faces a maximum sentence of 3 years in state prison.