ROHNERT PARK (CBS SF) — The Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety arrested a 17-year old Rancho Cotate High School student for posting a school threat on the Snapchat social media app Sunday.
The post depicted an assault rifle on someone’s lap and the words “Don’t go to school tomorrow,” Deputy Chief Aaron Johnson said Monday.
A Snapchat investigator who saw the post while monitoring data on the website informed the FBI within hours, and it was determined to have a IP address in Rohnert Park, Johnson said.
The Public Safety Department learned the suspect was a 17-year-old Rancho Cotate student and secured a search warrant for the teen’s home. The weapon was not found in the home but the teen said the Airsoft brand rifle designed to look real belonged to a 16-year-old friend and fellow student, Johnson said.
The teen who posted the photo of the gun said he was ‘joking around’ and did not think it would be a big deal, Johnson said. He was arrested and booked in Sonoma County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of criminal threats.
The 16-year-old boy said he was not aware the 17-year-old was going to photograph the Airsoft rifle. The gun was confiscated and both boys cooperated with the investigation, Johnson said.
Johnson said if the posting had not been intercepted, it could have caused undue fear to school campuses in Rohnert Park.