High school student threatens classmates with screwdriver, San Diego police say


A Mount Carmel High School student wielding a screwdriver threatened to harm himself and other students, whom he chased during class in a campus theater Thursday morning, authorities said.

San Diego police said they were notified shortly after 7:30 a.m. that a male student at the Rancho Peñasquitos campus was threatening people with the tool.

The incident was reported during a first-period theater class in the school’s theater. About 30 students were in the class, police said.


Police Lt. Brent Williams said the student made suicidal threats and threatened others. As the boy chased other students, school staffers were able to stop him, although one staffer’s hand was hurt during the incident, Williams said in a statement.

Students cleared out of the theater, where staffers kept the boy, and the school was put on lockdown.

Police arrived and arrested the juvenile, who Williams said is being held for a psychological evaluation.

No students were injured during the incident, he said.

The boy could face several charges, including making threats and brandishing a weapon, Williams said, adding that authorities are looking at which charges he could face — and how many — as the investigation continues.

The Poway Unified School District sent an email to parents of the school’s students shortly after 8 a.m., telling them the campus was on lockdown and urging them not to come to the school.

“Students called police to campus and notified administrators after an incident during class. No one was injured, and the student has been isolated to the theater, as police talk to the student,” the email said.


At 8:20 a.m., a second email was sent to parents, informing them that the student was in custody and that officers were clearing the scene.

Shortly after 9 a.m., the school told parents that the lockdown had been lifted but that the school was on what the principal called “secure campus” status as police continued to investigate. Secure campus, according to the principal, means that the students must remain inside their classrooms but they are able to move about.

Just before 10 a.m., the secure-campus status was lifted and students were able to head to their third-period classes, officials said.

Kucher and Figueroa write for the San Diego Union-Tribune.