According to law enforcement reports, a student at Golden Valley High School made a threat against the life of another student. The threat was made via direct message on Instagram, and consisted of one student telling another that he would bring an AK-47 to the school and kill him. The message also included allusions to the fact that there would be another school shooting in the future, and that the student making the threat couldn’t wait to to kill the other.
The threat was first reported to law enforcement when parents saw a screen shot of it on another Facebook group. Currently, the school is not on lock down, but there is an increased law enforcement presence and the IDs of students entering the campus are being checked to ensure safety.
Criminal threats are covered under California Penal Code 422 PC. They’re described as threatening to kill or physically harm someone and:
- The subject of the threat is thereby placed in a state of reasonably sustained fear for their safety or that of their family
- The threat is specific and unequivocal and
- The threat is communicated verbally, in writing, or via some electronic means
When someone violates Penal Code 422 PC, it’s possible for them to be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case and the suspect’s prior criminal history. Misdemeanor convictions carry the potential penalty of up to 1 year in jail. Felony convictions, however, include bail of $50,000 as per the Los Angeles County Felony Bail Schedule, up to 4 years in California state prison, and a possible “strike” under California’s Three Strikes Law.
It should be noted that when criminal threats are made, whether they involve potential school shootings or not, they should be immediately reported to law enforcement – not posted on social media.