Santa Monica police learned of the potential threat of a gunman on campus at Santa Monica College’s main campus at 8 am Thursday.
SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said the department received information from the Los Angeles Police Department that a male subject claiming to be a student attending Santa Monica College, had called and was threatening to shoot up the school and kill himself.
LAPD told the SMPD the caller had made references to several other schools located in the City and County of Los Angeles as well.
Using information provided by LAPD, officers from the Santa Monica College Police Department were able to confirm that the person of interest was in fact a Santa Monica College student and was scheduled to have a class on campus Thursday.
“Based on the information received, Santa Monica College, along with John Adams and Will Rogers Middle Schools, which are adjacent to the college, were placed on lockdown,” Lewis said. “A perimeter around the school was put in place and as officers were being deployed onto the campus, information was received that the suspect was on campus and had walked into the Psychological Services Office for assistance.”
Lewis said officers responded to the location and detained the subject of interest without incident.
At 8:46 am Thursday morning, SMC students were notified via the college’s email alert system that “Santa Monica College will be on lock down until further notice. Please stay away from the campus until notified of clearance.”
SMC’s student newspaper The Corsair reports that the suspect, who was already on campus for an 8 am class, received the mass message sent out to all students that morning about the lockdown. The Corsair says the student knew the lockdown was in connection to him and proceeded to turn himself in to SMC Psychological Services.
No weapon was found on the 19-year-old student when he was taken into custody at 9:35 am.
SMC District officials officially lifted the lock down as of 9:42 am.
“Campus Police have detained the student who made the threatening phone call to the college campus,” an email to the student body read. “All classes and activities should return to their regular schedule.”
The man arrested at SMC is suspected of causing panic in Monterey Park where the East Los Angeles College campus and several neighboring schools were locked down Thursday morning at 8 am after authorities received a call from a suspect threatening to shoot up a large, unspecified school.
Lewis said the investigation is on-going and involves several local and county agencies.
“At this time, the Los Angeles Police Department will be the lead agency for this investigation,” Lewis said.
Lewis said the student was suicidal, but had no apparent suicidal history.