Murrieta Police Department Press Release dated 3/14/2018
On 3/11/2018 at 11:12 p.m., the Murrieta Police Department received information regarding a threat of violence toward a school on 3/12/2018, posted on the social media site Snap Chat. The impact of this threat was felt city wide. With the school shooting in Parkland, Florida occurring less than a month prior, students, parents and school employees were justifiably concerned. Approximately 198 students chose not to attend school or decided to leave early on 3/12/2018 because of this threat.
Murrieta Police Department Detectives assumed the investigation and quickly identified a suspect. On 3/14/2018, Detectives served a search warrant at a residence on the 33000 block of Willow Haven Lane. With the assistance from the Riverside County Sheriff Department Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team (CATCH), Detectives located and recovered evidence showing that the suspect, identified as 19 year old Anita Nichols, was responsible for authoring and posting the social media threat on 3/11/2018. Ms. Nichols was placed under arrest for the threat and booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center.
There have been three social media threats and one via telephone against schools in Murrieta since January 1, 2018. In all four cases, an arrest has been made. All threats towards our schools, students and staff are taken seriously by the police department, and when probable cause exists, criminal charges will be filed against the offenders. The police department works closely with the staff of every campus in our district on cases involving criminal acts on campus or potential violence toward a campus with the goal of creating a safe environment for all students, staff and visitors.
Arrestee: Anita Nichols (19 years) Resident of Murrieta
Charges: 422 PC – Criminal Threats
Booking Number: 201809937
Murrieta File Number: 1803M-2362
On 3/11/18 at approximately 11:12 p.m., the Murrieta Police Department received information regarding a threat of violence toward a school posted on the social media site SnapChat. Murrieta Police Department Detectives and School Resource Officers investigated the threatening post and have concluded that the threat is not considered credible at this time.
Internal sources reveal that 2 students received SnapChat messages that contained a threat of violence towards the 2. One student is from Vista Murrieta and the other from Murrieta Mesa.
Murrieta Police also advised that the individual responsible for the threats is an adult who has no connection with the schools or district whatsoever.