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Hacienda Heights student arrested in online threats

The youth confessed to posting plans for shooting classmates, officials said.

April 19, 2008|Molly Hennessy-Fiske | Times Staff Writer

Authorities arrested a male high school student Friday in connection with Internet threats that led officials to cancel classes at Glen A. Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights.

The student, a minor whose name was not released, was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats, which is a felony. Sheriff's and school officials said the student confessed to posting the threats -- which included a hit list of students he said he intended to shoot. Authorities would not say whether the student offered any reason for his actions.

The incident began Wednesday evening when Los Angeles County sheriff's officials notified Hacienda La Puente Unified School District police that a threat against students at Wilson High had been posted on the school's Wikipedia entry.

The first threat read: "On Friday, April 18, 2008, there will be a shooting at this school." It listed as targets the names of specific students, as well as "a good majority of the badminton team and almost every single fob." Other Wilson students said "fob" is a term they use for Asian students, although authorities said Friday that they believed the term could have several meanings.

The message also warned: "Take this text down and it will guarantee their death . . ."

Even as school police contacted the students named, district Supt. Barbara Nakaoka said a second threat appeared on Wikipedia.

The second threat read: "You removed my last edit. I gave you a fair warning. Now the people listed in my previous edit will be victims in the Glen A. Wilson Shooting to occur this Friday. Your lack of attention to the seriousness of my warning will now be the reason as to why you will receive all fault of this event. Be prepared to have 33 families mourn the loss of their children and place a lawsuit upon your shoulders."

School officials asked Wikipedia to remove the threats from the entry and its archives, Nakaoka said. A printout of the messages was given to the KTLA television station by a Wilson High parent.

School police decided to close the campus after stepping up security Thursday. In a statement sent home to parents that day, Al Vasquez, chief of the school district's Department of Police and Safety, said the closure was "due to the specificity of the threat."

"If I had not thought it was credible, we would not have closed the school. I mean, not one but two threats," Vasquez said Friday. The school will reopen Monday, he said.

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molly.hennessy-fiske@ latimes.com

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