Despite threats, PGHS to hold events marking one month since Parkland shooting

$1,000 reward offered for info on school threats

PGPD investigates suspicious texts coming from Police Chief imposter

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. - UPDATE 3/13/2018 5:50 p.m.: Schools across the country and here on the Central Coast are preparing for walkouts and rallies on Wednesday, to mark one month since the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Anxiety is especially high in one community, where someone posted a threat to shoot up a school during the walkout. Earlier this month, someone left two threats at Pacific Grove High School, threatening to shoot up the school on Wednesday. The messages were found in girls’ facilities, one saying “bang bang like Florida on #walkoutday.”

This week, student leadership decided to change some of their plans.

“The students felt that getting up and leaving class early, they were concerned about it,” said Principal Matt Bell. “They just felt a little bit worried about coming out and doing that given the threat, and so they felt they wouldn't actually leave the classroom. But that we would leave a lot of other activities in place.

Starting at 10 a.m., a gong will ring once a minute for 17 minutes. The name, age and favorite quote of every victim will be read aloud, blasting through the PA system. During break, a number of activities will be offered, from a voter registration drive to hearing speeches and student safety to a letter writing campaign to lawmakers.

Police are stepping up patrols. 

“We're running tomorrow and right now where we've increased security and we've increased our presence for safety but also to restore a sense of safety to the school,” Chief Amy Christey said. 

Parents are also invited to help patrol the campus during break and lunch, all to reassure students they are safe at a time when they may be feeling unsure and anxious. 

"It's like with anything, if you don't know where the boundaries are and there's a cliff and there's no fence to stop you from going, you're very reluctant to go to the edge where you don't know where the boundaries are, you don't know what's going to happen next,” Bell said. “So our students don't know what's going to happen next. Our logic says the chances of this being real are very remote but absolutely not zero and they just don't know how do I react to that?"

As for who left the threats, hours of surveillance footage are being looked at. School leaders are confident the suspect is a girl, since the threats were left in a girls’ bathroom and locker room. 

But in a twist, someone is now impersonating Chief Christey via text message.

"My school resource officer reported a couple of texts that came through to one of the students and in one of the texts someone claimed to be the police chief and offer immunity for information," Christey said.

She said she wants to get the message out that those texts aren’t from her or the department. They are also investigating this incident.

Christey said if they do need to get the word out about something, they use traditional channels such as alerting the media, using social media or sending press releases.

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information regarding the threats made to the school.

UPDATE: 3/13/2018 9:36 a.m. The Pacific Grove Police Department is investigating suspicious text messages from someone claiming to be the "police cheif" and asking for information about recent threats made towards PG High School.

Investigators said the texts are from two different numbers and neither are from Chief Amy Christey. 

PGPD said, "It is unclear if this is a prank or if the individual(s) sending them are trying to help our investigation, but either way they are not acceptable and if you receive one please do not respond and just contact PGPD."

The threats made towards Pacific Grove HS were found in the girls bathroom at the beginning of March. 

The March 1, note said, " Imma shoot up this school, just wait on shooter he already got a plan."

A note found on March 7 said, " bang bang like Florida on #walkoutday."

Following the Parkland, Florida shooting a nationwide school walkout has been scheduled for Wednesday, March 14.

Investigators notified the FBI and other Monterey County law enforcement agencies about the threats made towards PGHS. 

"The Pacific Grove Police Department’s investigation of the terrorist threats left at the Pacific High School is ongoing. Unfortunately, we continue to hear from parents their children are afraid to attend school due to the threats," said PD.

A $1,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the threats. 

If you have information contact the police department at 831-648-3143. 


PREVIOUS STORY:  3/8/18 10:00 p.m.

Several threats of violence at a Central Coast High School. The threats were found in written messages around Pacific Grove High School.

"We're looking to see who's doing this," said Commander Rory Lakind, with the Pacific Grove Police Department, "Teachers, parents, students are very concerned as well as the police department [and] school officials."

"March 1st it was first reported to us that there were some threats made in the bathroom and [girls] locker room at PG High School," Lakind said.

The notes were frightening threats that said "Imma shoot up this school just wait on it" and another said "Bang Bang like Florida on #walkoutday".

Though the threats made against Pacific Grove High School may be someone's idea of a prank, the police department says they have to take each threat seriously.

"Some kids may think that may be funny but clearly, especially in today's climate, we take everything very serious," Lakind said.

As of now, the police department says it doesn't have many leads and it isn't sure if all the threats are connected.

"We believe there could possibly be more than one person," Lakind said.

Though they hope the threats aren't serious, police say they are prepared to protect the community.

"It's very important that we keep our students and our residents safe, we take their safety as the top priority and we want them to help us find the person responsible," Lakind said.

Pacific Grove Police say they do active shooter training regularly and have a drill coming up.

If you have any information about these threats, you should call police.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Pacific Grove Police Department is investigating several threats made towards Pacific Grove High School. 

Investigators said, since March 1, numerous threatening notes were found in the girls locker room and bathrooms. 

Threatening messages were reported to police on March 1, 5, and 7. Investigators interviewed students and staff and reviewed surveillance video in the location where the threats were left. 

The March 1, note said, " Imma shoot up this school, just wait on shooter he already got a plan."

March 7 note read, " bang bang like Florida on #walkoutday."

Investigators have notified the FBI and other Monterey County law enforcement agencies. 

Chief Christey said, “Police and school staff are doing all that they can to track down the culprits and restore the sense of safety and security at the high school. If you are the person who is doing this, please come forward so we can put an end to this. These cases are being investigated as felony terrorist threats and we ask anyone who has information that will help us, please contact the police department as soon as possible.”

To contact the department to report a tip, call the main desk at (831) 648-3143, email, or the Anonymous Tip Line at (831) 648-3159.

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