Threatening graffiti messages prompt increased police presence at Rancho Bernardo High School
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — About 20 threatening graffiti messages claiming there would be a school shooting Monday were found spray-painted around Rancho Bernardo High School’s campus Monday morning, prompting a large-scale police presence and an investigation, an officer said.
In photographs posted on social media, the graffiti made an apparent reference to the deadly shooting on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and threatened a shooting would happen at noon Monday on the campus at 13010 Paseo Lucido in Rancho Bernardo.
A photograph posted to Facebook showed one spray-painted message that read: “2/26 12:00 school shooting `Florida was NOTHING!!”’
Other messages also made references to Florida and threatened the shooting would happen at noon Monday. One was accompanied by a Swastika, others by profanity.
“Murder blood chaos,” read one of the messages. “The innocent will die,” read another of the scrawls.
All of the messages appeared to be written in black spray paint on walls across the campus, including some messages painted over a large mural of a nature scene.
Police were notified of the messages around 6:30 a.m. Monday and officers were still on campus more than two hours later investigating the threats, San Diego police Officer Billy Hernandez said. It wasn’t immediately clear if there was a credible threat to the school.
The graffiti was just the latest in a series of threats or perceived threats at San Diego-area schools since the shooting in Florida that killed 17 people, though the previous threats appeared to be unfounded. Those incidents included apparent threats at San Marcos High School last Tuesday, and on Wednesday, at Vista High School, Madison High School, Innovation Middle School, and Creative, Performing and Media Arts Middle School.
Later in the week, there was a perceived gun scare at Ramona High School and unsubstantiated threats at San Diego High School, San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and STEAM Academy at La Presa, a middle school in the Spring Valley area.
All of the threats involved social media postings or messages scrawled on campus, and all appeared to be hoaxes or in at least one case, a misunderstanding. On Thursday, however, San Diego police arrested a Torrey Pines High School freshman for allegedly claiming — verbally and in writing — that he planned to commit acts of violence at the Del Mar Heights Road campus.
Officers searched the boy’s home, seizing electronic devices but finding no weapons, SDPD public-affairs Officer Joshua Hodge said. The suspect’s name was withheld because he is a minor, and details on the nature of his alleged threatening statements were not made public.