Three young men were arrested Monday in connection with separate threats targeting high schools or students in Folsom, West Sacramento and Roseville. In the Roseville arrest, police said, the suspect had an "AR-15-type firearm."
Ryan Bernal, 18, of Sacramento County was booked into county jail on suspicion of making a criminal threat that prompted the lockdown of Vista del Lago High School in Folsom Monday morning, according to a Folsom Police Department news release.
The suspect was not at the school, and the threat was made via a text message. Folsom officers were sent to the school as a safety precaution, while other officers contacted Bernal at a relative's home. Although there was no indication Bernal planned to carry out the threat, investigators determined that the threat was criminal, the news release said.
Vista del Lago sent a text message from principal Lori Emmington to students' guardians stating the school was on precautionary lockdown while police investigated a "suspicious report." All students were safe, the message said, and parents were asked not to call or come to campus.
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Folsom Cordova Unified School District later clarified that the city's police instructed them to close campus while potential threats of violence on social media were investigated.
West Sacramento police arrested a River City High School student in connection with a theatening voicemail made Friday but discovered Monday on the school's main officer answering machine. Sgt. Roger Kinney said the boy was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats. The youth's name has not been released because he is a juvenile.
"Though very troubling to hear, please take some slight comfort in knowing that ALL our students are safe and know that we handle any threat against our school safety with the utmost urgency," the district's post read.
Police had not determined whether the threat as credible when they began allowing students to leave the River City campus about 11:45 a.m. Students who took the bus to school were released first, followed by descendants of the 200-300 parents who had come to campus, the students who drove themselves and students who walked to school. Teachers were to remain on campus until all students had gone home.
In Roseville, police announced the arrest of a 19-year-old Roseville resident Trevor Joseph Marshall on Monday afternoon in connection with threats against a local high school student.
Roseville police received information about 12:15 p.m. that threats had been made via social media against an Adelante High School student. At the same time, administrators at Oakmont High School received similar information about the threat against the Adelante student and notified police.
Officers were sent to both high schools to investigate. Adelante High students had already been released in keeping with their normal Monday schedule, according to a Police Department Facebook post.
Officers located the suspect in a restaurant parking lot at Douglas and Sierra College boulevards and took him into custody without incident. They found an AR-15-type firearm in his vehicle, the news release said.
There are no other suspects related to the threat, and no direct threats were made against either school, the news release said.
Dozens of minors have been arrested across the U.S. for threatening violence against students and faculty since the shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, including one in Oroville. Harper Junior High in Davis was scheduled to close Monday before authorities determined the threat of gun violence was nothing more than a teenage prank.
Thousands of Sacramento-area students, including some at Vista del Lago and River City, have announced plans to walk out of classes to march against gun violence on March 14.
Editor's note: This article was changed Tuesday to reflect that Bernal is from Sacramento County.
Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, email@example.com