Monday, December 10, 2007

Student threatens LA campus shooting

Los Angeles police arrested a 21-year-old Loyola Marymount University student in connection with an online threat to shoot people on campus, officials said Saturday.


Police arrested Carlos Huerta, a senior at Loyola, for investigation of making criminal threats. Huerta was taken into custody on Saturday night near his apartment on campus.

Huerta is suspected of posting a message that he would shoot and kill as many people as possible on campus before being killed himself by police, authorities said. The threat appeared on, a chat board that describes itself as having the "simple mission of enabling online anonymous free speech on college campuses."

University officials reported the threat to police around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Officer Mike Lopez. Calls made to Loyola were not immediately returned.

Some officers were dispatched to patrol the campus as a precaution and campus entrances were restricted.

Investigators working with campus officials were eventually able to determine that the threat had come from the computer registered to Huerta, police said.

"There was never an indication the threat made was a valid one, and there is no on-going threat to LMU," said Deputy Chief Michael Downing, head of the LAPD Counterterrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau.

It was not immediately known if Huerta had an attorney.

This is the second time in less than a week that someone has been arrested for allegedly posting an online threat to go on a shooting spree in Los Angeles. Both occurred just days after the mall shooting in Omaha, Nebraska, that left eight holiday shoppers and the gunman dead.

On Friday, an Australian man was arrested after he allegedly posted a message saying a shooting attack would take place at The Grove mall near Beverly Hills.

Jarrad Willis, 20, of Melbourne, was arrested after Los Angeles Police Department detectives traced to Australia the address of his Internet provider. Willis has been charged in Australia with creating a false belief ― a violation of Australian law.