South LA Teen Arrested Over Threat of Mass School Shooting

LOS ANGELES (CN) – A 13-year-old student who threatened to carry out a shooting at his South Los Angeles middle school had a list with the names of students and staff, a hand-drawn map of his school and an AR-15 assault rifle at his home when he was arrested, police said Friday.

(Photo courtesy Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

The unidentified student also had 100 rounds of ammunition, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Friday.

Several students said they overheard the suspect make threats Thursday in which he said he would carry out a shooting at Ánimo Mae Jemison Charter Middle School in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Willowbrook.

Students reported the threat and administrators contacted the sheriff’s department. Police interviewed students and other witnesses and then served a search warrant at the student’s home, according to LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

An AR-15 rifle with high capacity magazine was found along with the hand drawn map and a list of the names of students and staff members. The unregistered gun has a serial number, but investigators are trying to determine its origin, said Villanueva.

“In this case the fact that people stepped forward and said what they heard led to us to prevent a tragedy today,” said Villanueva. “Kudos to staff and students today.”

Investigators are still interviewing witnesses and those whose names were on the list, according to Detective Robert Dean.

“We’re going to treat every threat with the utmost serious of nature,” said Dean.

The threat comes a week after a student at an LA County high school shot five of his classmates with a handgun before turning the gun on himself. Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, 16, shot his classmates at Saugus High School with an unregistered “ghost gun” assembled from separate gun parts, killing two and wounding three others. Police also found several other guns at his home with some registered to Berhow’s late father.

Police have not determined a motive.

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