Rumors of threats to the Inland Empire have been circulating on social media, prompting the San Bernardino County Sheriff to officially address the online hysteria in a statement released Saturday.
"We are aware of the rumors on social media claiming to have come from law enforcement advising the public to stay away from movie theaters, malls, etc. due to threats," Sheriff John McMahon said in the statement.
"These messages are unsubstantiated claims of additional threats against our community. Citizens should be wary of possible hoax messages and follow verified law enforcement social media accounts and press releases. Our primary responsibility is to make sure our communities are safe and we are committed to continue to ensure that," the statement said.
The rumors emerged after Wednesday's San Bernardino shooting left 14 dead and 21 injured. Authorities are still officially investigating whether the rampage was an act of terrorism.
"We don't feel safe, even if those [hoaxes] on social media are nothing but a hoax, we still don't feel safe. We are broken by this event," Facebook user Luis Lazo said responding to the sheriff's post.
"Can you blame us? Our hearts are broken, grieving, and this is just gonna take time to recover and fee safe again," said Rhonda Streich Diamond on Facebook.
Call 1-800-225-5324 option 4 to report any tips to the FBI, or contact your local law enforcement agency.
Verified law enforcement accounts:
San Bernardino County Sheriff Advisories
655 E. Third St.
San Bernardino, CA 92415
Non-emergencies: (909) 387-3700