Suspect in widespread school shooting threats identified

LOS ANGELES COUNTY — Authorities Friday released the name of a 19-year-old Santa Monica College Student accused of prompting school lockdowns throughout the county by threatening to shoot up campuses Thursday.
Neiman Jerome Smith was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats, a felony, following Thursday’s incidents, Los Angeles Police spokesman Richard French said. Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials described him as a Los Angeles resident.
He was being held in lieu of $50,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, according to county booking records.
Dozens of schools in Monterey Park, Santa Monica and Los Angeles were placed on lockdown after Smith allegedly made at least one cell phone call shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday to the California Highway Patrol saying he planned to shoot up schools with an assault rifle before killing himself, according to sheriff’s and Santa Monica police officials.
East Los Angeles City College was evacuated, as the cell phone call was believed to have originated from the East Los Angeles-Monterey Park area, according to Monterey Park police Lt. Eric Kim.
Santa Monica College, where Smith was ultimately arrested about an hour and a half after the threatening phone calls were made, was locked down prior to the arrest, though it was not evacuated.
All 19 schools in Monterey Park was placed on lockdown following the threat, authorities said. Another two were locked down in Santa Monica, while six schools and a maintenance facility in Los Angeles.
Smith was arrested by Santa Monica College campus police after showing up at the campus’ psychiatric services center, Santa Monica police Sgt. Richard Lewis said. He was not armed.
A motive was not available.

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