After threat locks down Cal State Long Beach, man admits hacking email, police say

Students ride through a parking lot at Cal State Long Beach in this 2015 file photo.
(Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

After a threat described by police as credible forced the campus of Cal State Long Beach to go on lockdown Monday, authorities have arrested a second student in connection with the incident.

A female student was taken into custody Monday afternoon after university police learned of an email threatening violence on the campus.

The email prompted a school lockdown while investigators tracked down the woman whose email address was used to send the threat. But within hours, investigators determined that the woman, who has not been identified, had not sent the message.

The next day, campus police took Prateek Devulpally, 18, into custody around 2 p.m. Devulpally confessed during an interview to using the female student’s email, Police Capt. John Brockie said.

The two students do not know each other, and a motive for the threat has not been determined, authorities said.


“Throughout our investigation, we were able to determine that the female did not generate the email threat,” Brockie said. “She’s actually working with us because she’s a victim of the male who used her account.”

Devulpally has been booked into Long Beach City Jail on two felony counts and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

University police learned of the email about 2:10 p.m. Monday and sent out a campuswide alert about 3:40 p.m. after determining the threat was credible.

Students and faculty were instructed to shelter in place. Some tweeted photos of their barricaded classrooms after stacking chairs and tables against doors that did not lock.

By 4:23 p.m., the lockdown order had been lifted, with police tweeting, “There is no ongoing threat, and the campus is open for normal operations.”