Man who threatened Bell Gardens High had guns, ammo, bulletproof vest, police say

An exterior of the front steps of a high school.
Bell Gardens High School was the recent target of an alleged shooting threat.
(KTLA-TV Channel 5)
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A man who made a shooting threat against Bell Gardens High School on social media had a cache of stolen guns, ammunition and a ballistic vest, police said Monday.

Rene Alvizo, 21, of Bell Gardens was arrested Sunday on suspicion of making terrorist threats, grand theft of a firearm and possession of stolen property after an investigation into a social media post that showed images of a firearm and Bell Gardens High School.

“We don’t know what the motive is at this time,” Bell Gardens Police Chief Scott Fairfield said Monday at a news conference. “Our job is to go back and really dig in deep and find out why the threat was made, what the intent was ... and see if we can determine if others were involved and so forth.”


Fairfield said Alvizo did not attend Bell Gardens High School.

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On Sunday afternoon, police learned of a video posted on social media that showed a male suspect with a handgun and images of Bell Gardens High.

“The caption on the video stated, ‘Uh-oh, do not come to escuela mañana,’” Fairfield said.

Police identified Alvizo as a suspect using information from the social media account and began surveillance at multiple locations.

On Sunday evening, investigators said they saw Alvizo and another person loading a large suitcase into a vehicle. Alvizo entered the back seat, and the other person got in the driver’s seat and drove away.

Police pulled the vehicle over, and the driver agreed to a search, officials said.

In the suitcase, police allegedly found two stolen Glock handguns that were similar to those seen in the social media post. Police also found multiple loaded magazines, loose rounds and a ballistic vest, Fairfield said.

Alvizo and the driver were arrested, although the driver was released pending further investigation.