MURRIETA: Reward offered for identification of subject who made bomb threats forcing lock down

MURRIETA — Two suspicious phone calls threatening to blow up Murrieta Valley High School caused school officials to place their campus on lock down for nearly three hours, while officials and bomb-sniffing dogs searched the school’s campus, Wednesday, Nov. 8.

The investigation began about 9 a.m., after the campus received the phone calls threatening that the school was going to be blown up, Murrieta Police Lieutenant Ron Driscoll explained after a search and initial investigation.

Based on the threats, School Resource Officers and MVUSD staff immediately began investigating the calls and called for the lock down “as a safety precaution,” said Driscoll.

Murrieta Valley High School officials first notified parents regarding the reported bomb threats shortly after 10 a.m., when they posted on the school’s website that Murrieta PD and other law enforcement officials were investigating the phoned-in threats.

“At this time there are multiple police officers conducting a thorough search of the campus,” the message explained. “All students are safe and in their classrooms at this time and school and district administrators are in contact with Murrieta police officers to monitor the situation.”

Members from Riverside County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad responded to the school and brought four, specially trained, bomb-sniffing K-9’s to search the entire school for any type of incendiary device.

At just after 11:30 a.m., school officials updated parents that the campus was still on lock down and law enforcement officials were still actively searching the campus for explosive devices, none of which had been located.

At that time school officials indicated students would be released to go home after police had concluded their search and determined the campus to be safe.

At 12:30 p.m., after police and sheriff’s officials conducted a “thorough search” of the school’s campus and “nothing suspicious was located,” according to Driscoll, school officials lifted the hours-long lock down.

In spite of lifting the lock down, officials made the decision to release students early for the day, explaining, “At this point in the day, students need food and rest and no purposeful instruction would likely take place during the remainder of the day.”

All students were later released without incident.

Thanking parents for their patience and cooperation after the incident, school officials later wrote on the school’s website, “Nothing is more important than the safety of our students and staff.”

“We cannot overstate how important it is for students to tell an adult on campus immediately if they see, or suspect that someone is planning to do harm,” said officials. “In order for our school to remain a safe haven for learning, we must all work together to provide the safe environment that everyone deserves.”

Officers are continuing their investigation into who placed the threatening phone calls and MVUSD officials later announced they are working with Murrieta PD and WeTIP to identify the person who called in the bomb threat. A reward of up to $1,000 has been offered for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person that made the threat.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation or who knows the subject(s) who made the phone calls is encouraged to contact Murrieta PD School Resource Officer Carla Sanchez at (951) 461-6884 or anonymously via We-Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME. Callers can refer to incident file number 1711M-1696 and can remain anonymous.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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Trevor Montgomery, who recently moved from Riverside County to Shasta County, runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.

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