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Search continues for caller who made Valley College gun threat

Colleges and Universities

Authorities are looking for the person who phoned in a shooting threat Thursday that led to the closure of Los Angeles Valley College and a nearby high school in the San Fernando Valley.

The caller also accused a 21-year-old former student of making the threat. Authorities interviewed the woman at her Panorama City home after tracking her down. They also searched her apartment but found no weapons.

In an interview with CBS on Thursday, the former student, identified as Sydnee Lewis, said the caller should be jailed for the hoax.

“They had over 20 cops at my house,” she said. “They had cops at the school and [college], I mean it cost everybody a lot of money and a lot of worry and...it harmed me.”

About 9 a.m. Thursday, someone phoned L.A. County sheriff deputies at the Community College Bureau. The caller said a woman had threatened to “shoot up” Los Angeles Valley College.

Classes were cancelled and the Valley Glen campus of about 700 students and faculty was evacuated as deputies searched the facility.  School officials said winter session final exams were taking place that day.

L.A. Unified officials also locked down Grant High School, which is around the corner from the college.

At the same time, detectives were able to track down the threat to Lewis' home in Panorama City, where they detained and questioned her. 

After no visible threats at the college campus were found, classes were allowed to resume later in the day.

Investigators are now asking the public's help in identifying the caller. 

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the sheriff's Community College Bureau at (323) 669-7555. Anonymous tips can be made at (800) 222-8477

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ruben.vives@latimes.com

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