One week after a young man opened fire and killed two students at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, Calif., the authorities said they have since thwarted at least two other potential school shootings in Los Angeles County.
In separate cases on Thursday, a middle school student and a high school student were charged with criminal threats, Sheriff Alex Villanueva of Los Angeles County said. Both students, who were not named by the authorities, threatened to shoot up their schools on Friday.
“We’ve received a series of threats from the Saugus shooting forward until today,” Sheriff Villanueva said at a news conference on Friday. “We’ve acted on all of them and thoroughly assessed them.”
One of the recent threats took place at Ánimo Mae Jemison Charter Middle School in Los Angeles. Students overheard a 13-year-old boy threatening to shoot other students, and told their teachers. The teachers immediately emailed school administrators, who then called the authorities.
Deputies began investigating and conducting interviews, which led them to the boy’s home. While executing a search warrant, detectives found an AR-15-style rifle, 100 rounds of ammunition, a list of intended targets, including students and staff members, and a drawing of the school’s layout, said Sgt. Robert Dean, a detective with the sheriff’s department.
Sheriff Villanueva described the weapon as a “rifle with a high capacity magazine” but did not specify the exact size of the magazine.
The search also resulted in the arrest of a 19-year-old man, a relative of the boy, who was charged with possession of an unregistered firearm and held on $35,000 bail, according to a statement from the sheriff’s department. Officials did not identify the man and they did not disclose the status of the 13-year-old boy.
Hours later, and about 80 miles northeast of the middle school, officials in Palmdale, Calif., were notified of another shooting threat, this one against students at Knight High School, the sheriff’s department said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, several students were detained and suspended after a fight broke out on the school’s campus, the statement said. A student involved in the fight later posted on social media threats and photos of a person holding a firearm and bullets.
Investigators determined the threats were criminal, booked the juvenile and transported him to a juvenile detention center.
Both Ánimo Mae Jemison Charter Middle School and Knight High School are less than 50 miles from Saugus High School. Across the country this year, at least 11 shootings have taken place on American high school or college campuses.
John Ismay contributed reporting.