Desert Hot Springs Shooting Thwarted; 3 Teens Arrested, Weapons Seized

Three 14-year-olds were arrested and two handguns along with a replica AR-15 semiautomatic rifle were seized from their homes.

Desert Hot Springs Shooting Thwarted; 3 Teens Arrested, Weapons Seized

Police searched the teenagers' houses and found several weapons.

Three 14-year-olds were arrested on Sunday after being reported to police, who say they thwarted a potential school shooting at Desert Hot Springs (Calif.) High School.

Two boys and a girl were arrested at their homes after a Desert Hot Springs Unified School staffer found “troubling social media posts” and reported them to the police, reports CBS L.A.

While at the teens’ homes, police seized two weapons — a revolver and a semiautomatic black handgun —  and a replica semiautomatic rifle. The details of the planned attack were not released but the students were planning the shooting for Monday.

Officials said after examing the fake firearm, they found the accuracy to a real AR-15 “troubling.”

“Tell you right now, officers encounter this at a school, out on the streets, someone jumps out of a car, points it at an officer – there’s a high probability of a deadly confrontation,” Detective Larry Gaines said. “There’s no way to tell this a fake weapon without actually having it inside your hands.”

After the incident, Desert Hot Springs Chief of Police Jim Henson banned all replica firearms, reports KESQ.

“The only thing this is going to cause is for a child or juvenile to point it at law enforcement and have a deadly confrontation take place,” Henson said.

Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz issued a statement agreeing with Henson’s ban.

“Owning a replica fake weapon in today’s gun violence context can put your life and others in jeopardy, so why risk it?” he asked.

It is unknown how the teenagers were able to get their hands on any of the weapons or the fake AR-15.

In the meantime, the three students are in custody at juvenile hall and have been charged with terrorist threats.

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About the Author


Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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One response to “Desert Hot Springs Shooting Thwarted; 3 Teens Arrested, Weapons Seized”

  1. Rick says:

    In CA, all toy guns sold must be painted bright colors, such as green and orange an must have an orange end at the muzzle. Of course, anyone can modify it by painting it or removing the orange tip after it is sold and use it for criminal purposes. However, it is against CA law to use a fake firearm and cause people to think it is a real firearm, such as in the commission of a crime. It just shows that arming teachers across the country is needed; but the CA socialist legislature and governor passed a law making it illegal for school districts to arm school staff. Criminals are expected to follow the law and posted signs and not commit crimes, but by definition, criminals do not follow the law.

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