CARMEL, Calif. - UPDATE 6/1/2017 6 p.m.:
Two schools in Carmel are under heightened security after a threat of a shooting this week.
On Wednesday, the principal of Carmel Middle School received an anonymous email threatening a shooting at the school. School district leaders said it contained specific information like staff members’ names. Carmel High School was also mentioned in the email.
"It didn't say when, it had some other details in there that are very unique to the situation and the case so at this time we're not releasing them," said Cmdr. John Thornburg with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office immediately beefed up security at both schools, sending both deputies and sergeants, who would otherwise be patrolling the area. Private security companies were also called in to help monitor both schools as well as end-of-year events.
As for the investigation into who sent the email, authorities are zeroing in on identifying 3-5 possible suspects. No word if they are students or if they are linked to previous threats.
"Do we have maybe copycats? Seeing what happened at North Monterey County, what happened last year, this year with the bomb threats in the City of Salinas and in North County area for us. Is it a copycat, is that possible? Sure. Do we have any direct evidence to show that, we do not," Thornburg said.
The Sheriff’s Office said since January 1, 2016, there have been seven incidents where local schools were threatened. If the suspects in this case are caught, they could face felony charges related to terrorist threats. More, if evidence of a possible attack are found.
Below is a written statement posted online by Carmel Unified School District.
Shooting threats were made towards Carmel Middle and High School Wednesday night.
According to the Carmel Unified School District, the principal of Carmel Middle School received an anonymous email with threats to shoot up both the middle and high school students and staff.
The threats were enough that the Monterey County Sheriff's Office assigned more deputies at those schools for Thursday and Friday.
All schools will remain open.
Here is a statement from Carmel Unified School District:
Good evening Carmel Unified Families and Staff,
This evening, Carmel Middle School Principal Dan Morgan received a threat of shooting violence towards students and staff at Carmel Middle School. Carmel High School was also mentioned in the threat. District and site administration have been in constant contact with Monterey County Sheriff’s Department through the evening.
At this late hour, law enforcement is working with district personnel to assess credibility and identify the individual(s) responsible; we will seek to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. If you have any information about the threat, please call the Monterey County Sheriff’s tip line at (888) 833-4847.
Please understand that there was no threat made to any other CUSD schools.
All Carmel schools will continue as normal tomorrow. Carmel Middle School and Carmel High School will have law enforcement presence at school and all end-of-school-year events. In addition, we have arranged for private security personnel as an added resource.
If you decide to refrain from sending your student(s) to school Thursday, please phone the school office to have the absence excused.
The safety of all of our students and staff is our number one priority. The District will continue monitoring the situation and remain in close contact with law enforcement. We will update you with more information as it becomes available.
Again, all Carmel Unified School District schools will remain open tomorrow and continue with instruction as normal. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we continue to work through this unfortunate circumstance.