A 16-year-old high school student in Brea was arrested Wednesday for making criminal threats after someone reported seeing an online image of him holding a rifle along with messages alluding to shooting people at school.
The parent who made the report saw the image and messages, which were posted about seven weeks ago, while monitoring his teen daughter's social media activities, according to the Brea Police Department.
"The citizen recognized the 16-year-old as a Brea Olinda High School student," according to a police statement.
Police began an investigation and arrested the student on suspicion of making criminal threats, officials said.
"The police department has been working with the Brea Olinda Unified School District to assure parents and students that appropriate action has been taken, and that the campus is safe," police said, adding that the case exemplifies the adage, "If you see something, say something."
"We would encourage all of our citizens to please notify the police department if they see suspicious postings on social media," police said.
Parent Rodney Navarette told NBC4 he's glad the parent reported the threat immediately, but it's scary to think about what could have happened in those seven weeks since the photo was posted.
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"With everything that's going on, it really starts to hit home how real the threat is anywhere," he said.
NBC4's Ryan Bourgard contributed to this report.