Authorities Assessing ‘False' School Threats in Santa Clarita

Sheriff's officials said that they have investigated "multiple false threats against local schools"

Sheriff's officials said Sunday that they have investigated "multiple false threats against local schools" in the wake of Thursday's fatal shooting at Saugus High School.

"The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Santa Clarita Valley Station Detectives and School Resource Deputies are vigorously investigating and conducting threat assessments on all social media threats against the local schools that have been circulating on the internet and/or provided to them by concerned residents and parents," the department announced Sunday morning.

"The threat assessments have not identified or found any credible threats. This includes the vague post which referred to the date of 11/18. The threat assessments consist of investigative methods to track down the origin of posted online threats. Additionally researching the individual Web, and social media addresses, Detectives and School Resource Deputies conduct interviews of any person connected to the threat, and if necessary, conduct location searches in an attempt to gather as much information as possible to determine the validity of the potential threatening information presented. The conclusions are based on thorough and responsible investigations."

"However, in our continued support of our schools and students, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station will have additional law enforcement personnel present and available for our local schools within the Santa Clarita Valley."

Officials with the William S. Hart Union High School District have announced that Saugus High School will remain closed until Dec. 2, although students will have limited access to the campus starting Tuesday for counseling and other services. All other district schools will reopen Monday.

In an email distributed Saturday and posted on the District website, Deputy Superintendent Mike Kuhlman said ``We have decided to slowly open access to the campus and to provide optional supportive activities for students this coming week.

"Students choosing to come back to campus will be surrounded by law enforcement officers, mental health professionals, community members and friends offering love and encouragement. Family members are welcome to participate. Principal Vince Ferry will be reaching out to Saugus families with additional details soon."

Counseling and an increased police presence will also be available at the District's remaining 15 schools as normally scheduled classes resume.

Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, a junior at the high school, opened fire at the school shortly before 7:40 a.m. Thursday. He killed Dominic Blackwell, who turned 14 in September.

Gracie Anne Muehlberger, 15, was shot and succumbed to her injuries at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital at nearly 9:30 a.m. Thursday almost two hours after the shooting.

She had just celebrated her birthday Oct. 10.

One of two girls, ages 14 and 15, who had remained hospitalized following Thursday's shooting, was released Saturday.

Berhow shot himself and died at 3:32 p.m. Friday, according to the Los Angeles County sheriff's department. Sheriff's officials said his mother was with him when he died.

Authorities have said the shootings appeared planned, but the victims were random, and they remained stymied as to the motive.

A community vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday in Santa Clarita's Central Park.

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