At approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning, November 13, 2018, the Paso Robles Police Department notified the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office of a school violence threat made by a 22-year-old Orcutt resident on Facebook. The subject made statements indicating that he wanted to shoot up a school in Santa Maria although he did not specify a specific school. Sheriff’s deputies responded to the subject’s residence in Orcutt and conducted an investigation. It was determined he did not have access to firearms. Mental health experts were requested to perform an in-field assessment and he was transported to a local hospital for follow up care.
While there was never a direct threat to the Santa Maria School District, school officials were notified of the incident as was the Santa Maria Police Department. The Sheriff’s Office is conducting further investigation and will forward its findings to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office for review.
The Sheriff’s Office wants to take this opportunity to commend the reporting party who saw a concerning social media post and reported to it to law enforcement right away. It is important that we are aware of any potential threat to public safety so that we can quickly intervene, determine if a threat exists and ensure that people who are suffering from mental health issues are getting the assistance they need.