Pomona student arrested after threat to ‘shoot up’ schools says it was a joke

Exterior of John Marshall Middle School
A student at John Marshall Middle School in Pomona was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly made criminal threats.
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A middle school student arrested after threatening gun violence at two Pomona schools in a social media post told investigators it was a joke, police said.

Around 5:35 p.m. on Monday, Pomona Unified administrators were notified by students and parents of a post in which there were threats to “shoot up” Marshall Middle School and Ganesha High School later that week, according to the Pomona Police Department.

Resource officers with the Police Department determined the account belonged to a student at Marshall Middle School, according to a news release.


When contacted, the student — a minor who was not identified — told police the post wasn’t intended to be serious, authorities said.

Police found the student did not have access to a firearm and said that neither school was in danger.

The student was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of violating a section of the state penal code referred to as criminal threats.

The statute prohibits threatening to harm or kill someone when the threat causes the victim “to be in sustained fear” for their safety or that of their family, according to the California Penal Code.

“Threats of violence against schools, students or faculty are always investigated thoroughly and presented to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for prosecution,” authorities said in the news release.

The student was cited and released to their parent or guardian on the same day, said Aly Mejia, spokesperson for the Pomona Police Department.


Mejia said the case was referred to the district attorney’s office.

The case will remain confidential, said Greg Risling, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office.

State law requires that information about juvenile court proceedings and records not be released, except for certain exempt offenses, Risling said in an email.

The information, he said, is not made public because “the rehabilitation and protection of minors outweighs the public’s right to know.”

School district officials did not respond to a request for comment.

Threats of mass violence allegedly made by a former UCLA lecturer also surfaced Monday, shutting down the campus roughly 30 miles away on Tuesday.

Suspect Matthew C. Harris, 31, was arrested Tuesday in Boulder, Colo., on unspecified state charges.

Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold called a manifesto penned by Harris “very violent” and “very disturbing.”