Napa student arrested after mass shooting threat

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A middle school student was arrested in Napa on Jan. 2 over alleged threats of gun violence toward two Napa public schools and another student.

Napa Police were alerted Dec. 31 about reported threats related to a student at River Middle School, located at 2447 Old Sonoma Highway. The school was on winter break at the time.

A student at River Middle School told police that a fellow student at River Middle School, age 14, was possibly planning a school shooting and had communicated about this over a period of time. The two Napa Valley Unified schools named in the planned attack were River Middle School and Vintage High School. According to the Napa Police, when the victim student told the suspect student they were going to report the threat to police and parents, the suspect student threatened to kill the victim. The victim provided police officials with evidence related to the threats against NVUSD students as well as the specific threats against the victim.

On Jan. 2, Napa Police investigators served search warrants at the suspect student’s two residences in the City of Napa. Further evidence related to the planning and research of a mass shooting incident was located at both locations, according to the police. The suspect student was taken into custody on Jan. 2 and has been in custody since that time.

Napa Police released a statement that they do not believe there is now any threat to any NVUSD students related to this incident.

On Thursday, Jan. 10, Napa Police Detectives announced that they had arrested a second River Middle School student, age 13, for attempting to thwart the investigation by hiding evidence and interfering with witnesses related to the threat to the victim student. There is no direct evidence that this suspect was actively involved in the planning of any violence toward others nor that he was a threat to anyone.

NVUSD Superintendent Rosanna Mucetti issued a statement on Tuesday stressing that the safety of the students and staff at Napa schools and facilities is the district’s highest priority.

“We are deeply grateful to the student who reported concerns to an adult, who then contacted police,” said Mucetti. “That young person may have literally saved lives by speaking up.”

She assured parents that the district has been in constant contact with the Napa Police Department throughout the incident and “had there been an active threat that required families to take action, both law enforcement and the District would have been proactive and clear about that.”

The Napa Police Department is continuing to investigate the incident and have interviewed numerous other students and witnesses.

The names of the victim and the suspect were not released as both are juveniles.

“We want to praise the victim for coming forward and talking to their parents and the police,” said the police in a statement released on Jan. 7. “We believe based on the information collected at this point, this was possibly a tragedy averted. We want to take this opportunity to remind parents to talk to their children, to encourage them to share with their children: If you see something or hear something, say something.”

Detective Jason Barrera is leading the case. He can be reached at 258-7880, ext. 5325 or by email at jbarrera@cityofnapa.org if anyone has information related to the incident. Reference case #17-4746.

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