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Facebook moderators catch school shooting threat, student in custody

Police in Palo Alto on Friday took a 17-year-old student into custody in connection with online threats made about a school shooting at Henry M. Gunn Senior High School.

On Thursday at 9:15 p.m., officers with the Palo Alto Police Department learned of an anonymous online threat to conduct a shooting at the school Friday.

Investigators were able to identify the suspect Friday morning, and the student was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation.

Police said the student may also face criminal charges.

The tip about the threat was received by email via the department’s TipNow system.

Police said the threat had been submitted anonymously online to be considered for publication on a public Facebook group.

The moderators of the group saw the submission and forwarded it to the TipNow system.

The threat was never posted on the Facebook group page.

Gunn High/Wikimedia Commons Police arrested a 17-year-old Thursday, December 13, 2019 after he allegedly attempted to post an online shooting threat against Henry M. Gunn Senior High School in Palo Alto, Calif. Police located a handgun replica BB gun in his room.

Police said the threat referenced the author being a student at the high school and also referenced the student was in possession of a handgun and wanted to shoot students.

Investigators were able to identify the student, and the student was taken into custody at the student’s home on Friday at 2:45 a.m.

During a search of the residence, police located a realistic-looking replica handgun that shoots BBs.

The BB gun was found in the student’s bedroom.

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