SLO police arrest teen for posting airsoft gun photos

March 2, 2016

ToygunsPolice arrested a San Luis Obispo High School student who posted photos on Facebook of himself holding airsoft guns while dressed in military attire. The teen is reportedly charged with making a criminal threat. [Tribune]

The SLO High student posted the photos on his personal Facebook account and shared them with a small group of friends, police Lt. Jeff Smith said. The student made no specific threat in the Facebook posts, but he made some references that were concerning, Smith said.

When questioned by police, the teen admitted he made a mistake but said the photos were playful banter with friends who understood he was joking.

A law enforcement officer saw the photos on Friday and notified SLO High’s school resource officer. The student was taken into custody toward the end of the school day on Friday. He was then taken to Juvenile Hall.

Smith said airsoft weapons can look realistic but are not threatening. Airsoft guns fire plastic pellets.

Officers also determined it was not unusual for a student to have military attire, Smith said.

The district attorney’s office will review the case and will reportedly determine whether the criminal threats charge is a misdemeanor or a felony.



  1. mkaney says:

    We have LAWS for a reason. Was the post offensive and obnoxious? YES. But it did not directly threaten anyone in violation of the law. It was suggestive, it was “threatening,” but this does not rise to the standard necessary to mess this kid’s life up. Did it worry concerned parents? I’m sure it did, as they sent little Johnny off to play high school football where he has a huge chance of being injured.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. hijinks2 says:

    Great job new police chief, you know how to solve those high profile crimes. What a joke?

    (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  3. NorthCountyGuy says:

    Speaking of malicious criminal malfeasance, when is corruption-riddled, criminal-infested government going to arrest itself for its fraud, waste and abuse of taxpayer dollars????

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
  4. r0y says:

    E-mail received from the SLOHS principal, quoted/pasted in its entirety:

    Due to the sensitive nature of the circumstances and the protocols of the San Luis Police Department, I am now able to share information in regards to an incident that occurred last week at our high school. On Friday, February 26, at approximately 2:00p.m. local law enforcement notified our administrative team regarding social media posts that posed a credible threat to our student body. By 2:30p.m. San Luis Obispo Police Department in conjunction with our administrative team removed the student from our campus who posted the threat on social media. Over the weekend, our administrative team was in constant communication with local law enforcement regarding the on-going investigation.

    First thing Monday morning we made staff aware of the nature of the threat. Since student safety is our number one priority at San Luis Obispo High School, we re-emphasized and reviewed established safety procedures regarding potential risks to student safety.

    As your principal and parent of young children in SLCUSD, I continue to work with our District Office and local law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety our students. Please understand that the relationship that we have with SLOPD is reciprocal; they support student safety and we support their expertise in evaluating a potential threat to the safety of staff and students. In the coming days we hope more information may be made available.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    Leslie O’ Connor
    Principal, SLOHS

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
    • r0y says:

      This was basically over a stupid prank selfie. Holding “guns” and in “military attire” while using phrases like “Columbine 2016” will definitely get you attention. The social media post was NOT a broad-reaching post, rather it was to a select group of friends (SnapChat).

      (0) 12 Total Votes - 6 up - 6 down
      • smile4thecamera says:

        Prank or not, I don’t think it’s funny. Too bad this kid didn’t think before he acted. I’m glad the SLO PD took precautionary measures and dealt with it. As much as people think school shootings will never happen here, it’s obvious it could. And just because he posed with an air-gun doesn’t mean he didn’t have other things on his mind.

        (12) 18 Total Votes - 15 up - 3 down
      • achillesheal says:

        It will get you attention and as this kid found out, the attention is from police.

        I have 2 kids at SLO High. You don’t joke about columbine type incidents. This kid deserves the arrest, and a beating.

        (9) 15 Total Votes - 12 up - 3 down
        • mkaney says:

          You don;’t joke a Columbine type incidents? Maybe it’s in bad taste, but now you think that you have the right to arrest people for bad taste? Who cares if you have 2 kids in SLO High. That doesn’t give you any right to use law enforcement to push your own paranoid agenda and opinion of what people can and cannot say. WE HAVE LAWS, and this did not rise to the standard of violating the law.

          (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  5. NorthCountyGuy says:

    The SLOPD should be arresting the organized-crime thugs of the teachers unions.

    The government schools (who rip-off the taxpayers and put the SLO in SLO-town) are the biggest organized-crime rip-off in America.

    (-7) 19 Total Votes - 6 up - 13 down
    • kayaknut says:

      Steal using a gun get arrested, steal using a union contract get a raise……

      (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
      • NorthCountyGuy says:

        When a government employee is a willing accomplice to union thuggery, union corruption and union incompetence, he is rewarded.

        In contrast: When a government employee blows the whistle on union thuggery, union corruption and union incompetence, he is punished.

        In summary: In order to be qualified for government employment, one is required to be a bottom-feeding dirtbag with no morals, no ethics and no conscience.

        (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down

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