L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies Heighten Presence at Santa Clarita Schools After Instagram Threat

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have increased their presence at Santa Clarita Valley schools, following a recent threat on Instagram.

The beefed up presence follows Sunday’s arrest of an unidentified 15-year-old who had posted disturbing photos on the popular photo-sharing site. One of the posts specifically threatened Valencia High School with a caption that read, “Valencia High School has been nominated to be shot up first.”

The user’s account, which has since been removed, contained photos of the school’s marquee, as well as dead bodies and weaponry—often accompanied by racist and sexist remarks.

Authorities believe the posts are a hoax, but they aren’t taking any chances.

"We want people to know that we are looking into this, we take it seriously, and we've already discovered that those photos are not real, they are stock [images]," said Lt. Brenda Cambra of the Sheriff's Department.

Authorities across California have been on heightened alert since a mass shooting near UC Santa Barbara that left 6 dead and more than a dozen injured in May. In that case, Santa Barbara sheriff’s officials were criticized for failing to review the shooter’s YouTube videos and other social media accounts during a prior welfare check in which they concluded he was not a threat.

Read more about the L.A County Sheriff’s Department’s response to the latest threats here.