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Education

Arrest Made In Torrey Pines High School Threat

A teenager was in custody Friday on suspicion of posting an online shooting threat targeting Torrey Pines High School, prompting a several-hour lockdown at the campus, authorities reported.

Investigators are trying to determine if the 17-year-old — whose identity was withheld because the suspect is a minor — also was responsible for a separate Internet gun threat that caused a scare at a second Carmel Valley-area secondary school a few hours later on Thursday, according to San Diego police.

The first security emergency began shortly before 10:30 a.m., when a parent contacted Torrey Pines High officials to report hearing about the threat from her child.

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The menacing post on the Yik Yak social-networking site included a claim that a shooting would occur just before noon. Teachers kept students locked in their classrooms while officers went through the campus.

By mid-afternoon, authorities were allowing students to leave the school grounds under escort, SDPD spokesman Humberto Hernandez said.

The search of the Del Mar Heights Road school was wrapping up when, shortly before 3 p.m., a staffer at nearby Canyon Crest Academy made an emergency call to report that someone had posted a menacing website message about a shooting there as well.

The threat included a claim that an assailant was "on the way with three guns," police said.

Administrators secured everyone inside rooms at the East Village Center Loop Road campus while police went over the grounds. Officers gave an all-clear about 3:45 p.m., according to Hernandez.

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Later in the day, police arrested the suspect — who does not attend Torrey Pines High — in connection with the first threat.

"We are exploring if there is a nexus between the threats made to both schools, and if other (perpetrators) were involved," public-affairs Lt. Kevin Mayer said.

During a news conference Friday morning, Torrey Pines High School Principal David Jaffe warned anyone who might consider posting such frightening and disruptive messages online that he or she would pay a legal price.

"Social media is not anonymous ... . You post something, you're going to be held accountable for what it is that you post," he said.