Tulare Co. teen arrested after posting video threatening to commit school violence, authorities say

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare Police arrested a 15-year-old high school student after he allegedly posted a video on social media wielding what looked to be like a high powered scoped rifle.

"Those kinds of comments and threats, we don't take lightly," said Sgt. Edward Hinojosa.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents tipped off detectives about the video on Sunday.

They claimed a Snapchat video showed the teen holding the rifle while referencing lyrics in "Pumped Up Kicks," by Foster the People.

"The lyrics talk about violence toward other students. We found it alarming, so did the FBI," Sgt. Hinojosa said.

After a long investigation, police arrested the teen at his home.

Investigators later found out the weapon was a scoped air rifle with thumbhole stock.

"It should be brought to his attention that that's nothing to play with," said Mike Ruiz.

Ruiz is a parent of a high school student in Tulare. He says after the recent mass shootings, arrests like these are concerning

Ruiz says he wants the school district to look into ways to alert parents of these incidents sooner.

"Trying to find something as to where they can alert us faster...that way we feel more secure and safe," he said.

Meanwhile, officials with Tulare Joint Unified School District are working with the Tulare Police Department to get updates on the incident.

The district released the following state Tuesday night:

"Tulare Joint Union High School District has learned that a District student was arrested as a result of law enforcement's investigation into possible threats of school violence.

The safety of our students and staff is top priority. The District takes these incidents very seriously and will work closely with law enforcement, mental health professionals, parents and others committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for our students and staff. Our school counselors are available to speak with students who wish to do so.

The District understands the community's desire for more information. However, information maintained by school districts concerning students is protected and confidential under both federal and state laws. As such, the District cannot share any further details involving any student or the ongoing investigation.

This incident serves as an opportunity for school staff and parents to have a discussion with students and re-enforce the importance of reporting concerning behavior and statements to District officials or law enforcement.

If anyone has any information regarding this matter, we encourage you to immediately report it to the District and the Tulare Police Department."

The teen was taken to a local jail, and police are filing charges for terrorist threats.

The case was forwarded to the Tulare County District Attorney's Office for review.
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