BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Police Department (BPD) announced that Bakersfield High School (BHS) had received a shooting threat via Skype after an argument online over the game Roblox.
According to the BPD, a secondhand source notified the BPD of a Skype call in which the caller threatened to "shoot as many students as possible" with a rifle they were supposedly armed with. Multiple BPD officers and Kern High School District police officers went to BHS as a result of the Skype call shortly after 3:34 p.m. Most students had already been released due to the school day ending but the remaining students were placed on lockdown while police remained in the area.
Following an investigation with assistance from New York law enforcement, the BPD was able to identify the Skype threat suspects as a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old from Utica, NY. It was discovered that the threats were the result of an argument with a child from Bakersfield on the online game Roblox.
The BPD says that the investigation is ongoing, however, the threat of a shooting has been determined to "not be credible."
IN-DEPTH: THE LEGAL ELEMENTS OF CRIMINAL THREATS
Under California Penal Code § 422, a criminal threat is defined through a number of elements, and those elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to gain a conviction against someone for making criminal threats in California, a lawyer must prove:
- That the person making the threat intended to be making a threat.
- That the person's threat involves the killing or severe injury of another person, whether they make the threat themselves or have the threat delivered through a third party.
- That the threat was communicated in language, either in spoken words, in writing, or by an electronic means like email, direct messages, or social media posts.
- That the person making the threat intends for the person they are threatening to know they were being threatened.
- That the threat and its context are so clear, so specific, and can be carried out immediately enough that it seems inevitable.
- That the threat puts its target in real and sustained fear that the person making the threat will carry it out, either against the target or a member of the target's immediate family.