Online threat of Santa Barbara school shooting
February 17, 2016
The Santa Barbara Police Department and county sheriff’s office, as well as the FBI, are investigating a threat posted anonymously on a blog or chat room. The threat states the online commenter is considering carrying out a shooting in a classroom, according to the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff officials say the blog entry indicated a warning for Santa Barbara.
An Ohio resident discovered the blog post and notified Santa Barbara High School, according to a sheriff’s office press release. The school principal immediately contacted the Santa Barbara Police Department, which then forwarded the information to the Santa Barbara Unified School District.
Authorities are actively working to identify the source of the threat. They are withholding the name of the website, citing an active investigation as the reason for doing so.
Santa Barbara school district officials contacted all of its schools, as well as neighboring districts and colleges in the area. The school district also notified staff and parents through its alert system.
Since the threat is not specific to a particular school, each school and school district has discretion over security measures.
The sheriff’s office says law enforcement takes all threats seriously. Investigators request that people call 911 if they have useful information about the case.
Santa Barbara Police and sheriff’s officials are reminding residents to be vigilant and to report suspicious activity immediately. “If you see something, say something,” sheriff’s officials said.
The sheriff’s office also says this case serves as a reminder of the need to sign up for schools’ emergency alert systems.