LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A 13-year-old boy who allegedly threatened to shoot fellow students and staff at Animo Mae Jemison Charter Middle School in the Willowbrook area is set to appear in juvenile court next week on more than a dozen charges, including conspiracy to commit murder.
The unidentified student also faces nine counts of criminal threats, and one count each of possession of an assault weapon, possession of a large-capacity magazine and minor in possession of ammunition, according to Greg Risling, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The boy denied the charges, which were filed Nov. 25, and is set to return Dec. 12 to Compton Juvenile Court.
Sheriff’s officials said when they announced the boy’s arrest on Nov. 22 that the student had an unregistered AR-15 rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition in his possession. He allegedly made threatening remarks on campus the day before, suggesting a shooting would be carried out the next day, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.
“Multiple students overheard the school threat on campus and teachers emailed the administration about concerns raised by the students,” Villanueva said in announcing the arrest. “School officials contacted the sheriff’s department immediately.”
After identifying the student, detectives served a search warrant at his family’s home and found a “rifle with a high-capacity magazine” and a “rudimentary hand-drawn map of the school as well as a list containing names of both students and staff members of the school,” according to a sheriff’s statement.
Undersheriff Tim Murakami said on his Twitter page that the weapon was an AR-15 rifle, and he characterized the list of students and staffers as a “list of intended victims.”
Villanueva said the weapon did have a serial number, but it was not registered. Its origin was under investigation.
“With all incidents like these, we ask all Los Angeles County residents that if they see or hear something to say something,” the sheriff said. “In this case, the fact that people stepped forward to say what they had heard led us to be able to prevent a tragedy today.”
Sheriff’s officials said a 19-year-old man, who is a relative of the student, was also arrested on suspicion of possessing an unregistered firearm.
Green Dot Public Schools, which operates the charter campus, issued a statement following the arrest saying it has “processes in place that allow our students to say something if they observe threats or have safety concerns.”
“… our staff was notified by students of a threat, and we moved quickly to ensure that no harm came to our students,” according to Green Dot. “Our students did everything right by raising concerns with adults.”
News of the arrest came eight days after a 16-year-old student took a gun to Saugus High School and shot five other students, two fatally, before shooting himself in the head. That gunman died at a hospital the next day.
A rash of threats targeting various campuses followed that shooting.