An emailed bomb and mass shooting threat that prompted class cancellations at Fountain Valley High School in Orange County was determined to be a hoax, police said Wednesday morning.
Students were told to stay home while police investigated the incident, and all classes remain cancelled today, but the campus was reopened to administrative staff and teachers just before 11 a.m.
Police will continue to investigate the origin of the threat, which came in the form of an email sent through around 10 p.m. Tuesday night, reporting the author had hidden explosives on campus and would arrive Wednesday morning to shoot and kill any surviving students, Sgt. Tony Luce with Fountain Valley Police Department said.
School personnel called police around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning to report the email and investigators took the threat seriously, including working with the Orange County Sheriff's Department's bomb squad to ensure no devices had been planted on the campus.
Detectives were able to trace the email to a 17-year-old student and officers went to the boy's home and examined his cell phone and computer. They found no evidence the email came from him, Luce said. The student also denied sending the threat, police said.
"It's quite possible the email originated from someone else pretending to be this student, in what they thought would be a prank," Luce said. "But that's still being investigated. Some computer technician will have to determine where that email originated from."
Luce said if the student's accounts were hacked, he could be a victim.
Students said they were grateful police took the threat seriously.
"A lot of police showed up and I think it's necessary," said Fountain Valley senior Sean Sprayer. "I think every precaution should be taken and I'm really glad they have this system in place with every single threat. God forbid something happened to the school - that'd be horrible."
The investigation and threat came just weeks after two boys at South Pasadena High School were arrested for allegedly plotting to kill three staff members and kill as many students as possible in what police determined to be a credibly threat.
This is a developing story. Refresh for updates.