12-year-old accused of sending threatening video to local students; Three firearms found at his residence
Editor's note: We have corrected the term lockdown to lockout. Police said the school was on lockdown, however, school officials said the correct term is lockout as the incident happened outside of campus
A 12-year-old and an adult were arrested after the child made a video of himself armed with guns to students at a Cathedral City. Three firearms were found at their residence.
The incident was reported at around 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday. Cathedral City police officers responded to James Workman Middle School after a student had sent a video to other students making threatening statements while displaying handguns.
Officers spoke with school officials and determined the student, a 12-year-old boy, who was not present at school, had displayed two handguns in the video, the department said.
A search warrant was requested and ultimately granted by a Riverside County Judge for the child’s residence. Since the residence was located near Rio Vista Elementary, police said they requested the school go on lockout for safety precautions.
Police said the school was placed on lockout at 11:25 a.m. The search warrant was served at 11:35 a.m., and two persons were detained at the residence. The school was notified the lockout could end at 11:46 a.m.
Initial Message to parents:
Hi Families –
Cat City Police just called us and placed us on Lockout. There is no police activity on our campus or threat on our campus at this time. There is police activity in our area. All students are indoors and all doors are locked. We will post updates here as we get them. Dismissal may be delayed as a result.
Message after lockout ended:
Hi Families -
Update...The police activity near our school is cleared and the lockout has been lifted. I'm proud of our staff and students as we followed our protocol perfectly. All students were quickly accounted for and brought back in the building during the lockout. Dismissal will happen at 12:10 as usual. All regular after school programs will continue as scheduled.
Three firearms were found at the residence, including the ones depicted in the video, police confirmed.
During the investigation, a 39-year-old man was arrested at the residence for child endangerment, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of an illegal rifle, and possession of unregistered firearms. He was transported to the Riverside County Jail in Indio. There was no word on if he was related to the child.
The 12-year-old was taken into custody for criminal threats and transferred to the Indio Juvenile Hall.
"The department wants to remind and encourage parents to monitor their child’s activity on their cellular phones, social media accounts and gaming apps with chat features. Parents should regularly check the contents, including pictures and videos, on their child’s cellular phone."- Cathedral City Police Department
Message to parents from the principal of James Workman Middle School:
"You may have seen something on local media related to a video threat involving one of our students. I wanted to assure you that this alleged incident occurred off campus during non-school hours. As soon as it was reported to us this morning, we contacted police and have been assisting in their investigation. At no time was student safety threatened, and the student who allegedly made the threat was not in school today. I also want to share with you that at no time today was our campus on lockdown."