False Internet rumors of active shooter near elementary school lead to near panic

VALLE VISTA — Sheriff’s officials have confirmed that Internet rumors of an active shooter in the unincorporated community of Valle Vista east of Hemet were untrue and have provided details of what really occurred this afternoon, Tuesday, Sept. 10. The actual incident did lead to the brief lock down of an elementary school, “for safety precautions,” according to officials, but that lock down has since been lifted.

The original Internet post, which included a photograph of a road closure manned by deputies, claimed sheriff’s officials had confirmed the incident was related to an active shooter in the Valle Vista area. The post swept through the community and spread immediate shock waves and near panic among those who saw it, and it was then re-shared to several community news reporting groups throughout the area.

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Responding to a call from RCNS requesting confirmation and factual details related to the incident, Deputy Robyn Flores, of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Media Information Bureau said, “”This incident is not and was not related to an active shooter.”

Within minutes of that initial phone conversation, Sheriff’s officials released a social media post stating, “Around 2:30 PM, we were made aware of a false and inaccurate post circulating social media regarding an Active Shooter situation in the Valle Vista area. We can confirm that it was NOT an Active Shooter incident.”

Although false reports of an active shooter near a school in the Valle Vista area led to near panic today, Sheriff’s officials have since confirmed the incident was not related to an active shooter, but was a domestic disturbance involving a man who brandished a knife at another man. Internet photo

The Sheriff’s social media post went on to explain that around 12:13 p.m., deputies from the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Station responded to the 26200 block of Fairview Ave., after receiving reports of a subject armed with a knife.

Deputies who responded to the scene determined the reported incident stemmed from a family disturbance.

During the disturbance, a male who has not been identified, brandished a knife at another male at the location, according to officials; who said based on their investigation, deputies arrested both subjects.

During the incident and subsequent investigation, Valle Vista Elementary School was briefly placed on lock down for safety precautions due to its close proximity to the incident. That lock down has since been lifted and the school has since reopened, according to officials.

“There were no injuries to any parties, or members of the public,” officials explained in their social media release.

In the wake of the near panic caused by the original false reports of an active shooter, officials reminded citizens, “Please be aware of social media posts by members of the public regarding law enforcement related incidents, as they may not be accurate (as in this case).”

This remains an ongoing investigation according to officials, and no additional information was made available as of this report.

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information becomes available.



Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta 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. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s 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 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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