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Man charged with making threatening calls to schools, hospital

September 19, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz and Ruben Vives

Gerardo Cortez, a 26-year-old man who allegedly threatened to shoot an AK-47 assault rifle at schools and a hospital, was charged Thursday with multiple counts of making criminal threats and falsely reporting an emergency.

Cortez, 26, was taken into custody Tuesday as he left his home in Monrovia.

He is suspected of making a series of threatening phone calls that forced officials to lock down schools in several San Gabriel Valley cities, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Cortez allegedly made the calls beginning on Sept. 9 "to schools, a medical center, a mall and a police agency," according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

On Tuesday, law enforcement authorities said the first call in the latest series of threats was made Sept. 9 to the Covina Police Department. The caller said he was at "Citrus Medical Center."

"I have an AK-47 and I'm going to start shooting people right now," the caller said, according to a transcript of the call cited by Parker.

Cortez was charged with six counts of making criminal threats and five counts of falsely reporting an emergency," according to prosecutors. The criminal complaint also alleges Cortez has a prior conviction of falsely reporting a bomb to an agency or business.

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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