An investigative team, including Fortuna and Eureka detectives, arrested a 16-year-old girl in connection with a threat made via social media that a shooting would take place at Fortuna High School Thursday afternoon and another threat made against Eel River Community School.
According to the Fortuna Police Department, the team “developed information” that identified the teen and she was taken into custody around 3 p.m. Thursday and booked into juvenile hall on suspicion of making criminal threats.
"The Fortuna Police Department, Fortuna High School, Eel River Community School and local law enforcement remain committed to the ongoing safety of our schools and students, a news release states.
The Fortuna Police Department is investigating a shooting threat at Fortuna High School that started circulating yesterday on the social media platform SnapChat but classes are taking place today with a law enforcement presence on campus as a "precaution."
The threat is the second against the school in less than a month.
According to a Fortuna Union High School District post from last night, school administrators responded quickly after receiving notifications about the threat of a shooting that would take place today at 12:45 p.m.
"We alerted law enforcement immediately," the district's post states. "They launched an investigation and have many leads. We are in constant communication with law enforcement. We will update you as information is available."
The FPD posted a similar message on Facebook, stating the agency was "actively investigating" and law enforcement would be on campus today as a "precautionary measure."
On Sept. 29, a 13 year old was arrested at his home on suspicion of making criminal threats for allegedly sending a skull emoji with the message, “Gonna light up the school at 12:10,” to a group of Fortuna High School students, leading to a full campus lockdown.
That message was also circulated via SnapChat.
An investigation led police to the teen's home in Rio Dell the same day, where he was detained and a search warrant executed. Among the items seized was a cell phone, clothes “identified in Snapchats” and “multiple firearms.”
Arcata High and Six Rivers Charter High schools, which share a campus, were put on a modified lockdown on Oct. 5 after a threat was circulated on Instagram. No credible threat was found, according to district officials and the Arcata Police Department.
Read the release from the FPD below:
On Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at approximately 7:00 P.M., Fortuna Police received a report from school officials of a threat to students at Fortuna Union High School.
The initial threat was received via Snapchat, and specifically stated that a shooting would occur at Fortuna Union High School on Thursday, October 20, 2022 at 12:45 P.M. An additional threat was also received via Snapchat threatening the Eel River Community School campus in Fortuna.
Fortuna Police coordinated with school administrators and local allied agencies to provide safety and security on the school campuses throughout the day.
An investigative team, comprised of Fortuna and Eureka Detectives was also dedicated to the timely identification of the person responsible for posting the threats.
The investigative team, developed information identifying a 16-year old female who was responsible for posting the threats. The 16-year old was located and taken into custody at approximately 3:00 P.M. and was booked into the Humboldt County Juvenile Hall for making Criminal Threats.
The identity of the 16-year old suspect is not being released due to her status as a juvenile.
The Fortuna Police Department would like to recognize and thank our allied agency partners for their timely response and assistance. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Eureka Police Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, Rio Dell Police Department, Cal-Fire Law Enforcement and Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department all assisted with this incident.
The Fortuna Police Department, Fortuna High School, Eel River Community School and local law enforcement remain committed to the ongoing safety of our schools and students.