A 12-year-old Española Middle School student caused the school to be put on lock-down, Nov. 18, after making a threat on SnapChat, to shoot up the school. Police later determined he made the threat because he didn’t want to go to school.
School Security Director Christian Lopez told Española Police Officer Mark Webb, that he was investigating a threat that said, “I’m going to shoot up carlos vigil middle school thursday everyone better duck good luck. Nov,18 (sic).”
Several students saw the post and shared it, prompting the lock-down.
Webb told Lopez that he would initiate the investigation into the threat’s validity.
Because the threat was made on an account identified as “u_unknown202972,” Webb requested identifying information for the account, to try and figure out to whom it belonged. He was able to get an IP address, which came back to a T-Mobile phone. He then contacted the cell phone carrier and used the law enforcement exigent circumstance and emergency request protocols, to find the owner of the phone.
Jerry Segura of Ohkay Owingeh was identified as the T-Mobile subscriber. Webb was then able to cross-reference that information with student records at the middle school and found Segura was listed as an emergency contact for an enrolled student named Juan Carlos Lopez.
Det. Andrea Dobyns helped Webb track down the boy, who was at his sister’s house. She arranged for him to meet Webb at the Española Police Department.
“Due to the school campus being in a shelter-in-place category, the male student was not allowed to be interviewed by Mr. (Christian) Lopez on campus,” Webb wrote in his incident report. “I allowed Mr. Lopez to make contact with the student prior to my interview at the Espanola Police Department as part of his investigation on behalf of the Espanola Public Schools.”
Webb sat in on the interview between Christian Lopez and Juan Carlos Lopez. According to the incident report, Juan Carlos Lopez admitted to creating the post from an account he made on his cell phone, before class that morning. He said afterward, he deleted the account.
Webb asked the boy why he’d make a threat like that and he allegedly said he was afraid to go to school because he’d been having issues with another student. He claimed he didn’t have a weapon or access to one. His sister, with whom he is residing, confirmed his claim.
“After speaking to JCL and his sister, I provided him with a large amount of counsel and information,” Webb wrote.
Dobyns contacted the Juvenile Probation Office and someone there said Juan Carlos Lopez could be released to his sister and detaining him wasn’t necessary.
Webb wrote that he would forward the case to the JPO to consider a charge of interfering with the educational process.