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Police: Teen posted online threats to shoot students at Los Angeles-area schools as a prank

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SANTA CLARITA, California — A 15-year-old boy arrested Sunday on suspicion of posting online threats to shoot students at Southern California schools apparently did so as a prank, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said.

The teen, who was arrested after investigators served a search warrant at his home, wrote the posts to get a reaction from his friends, officials said.

The suspect "actually had no intention of carrying out these threats," Deputy Joshua Dubin said at a news conference. "We still take it very seriously."

Detectives began investigating the threats late Saturday after receiving more than two dozen phone calls about posts on Instagram from someone threatening to shoot high school students on an unspecified date, authorities said.

PHOTO: Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputy Joshua Dubin announces the arrest of a 15-year-old boy Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, on suspicion of posting online threats to shoot students at Southern California schools in Valencia, Calif. Deputies arrested the teen after serving a search warrant at his home, Lt. Tom Bryski said. (AP Photo/The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Austin Dave)
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputy Joshua Dubin announces the arrest of a 15-year-old boy Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, on suspicion of posting online threats to shoot students at Southern California schools in Valencia, Calif. Deputies arrested the teen after serving a search warrant at his home, Lt. Tom Bryski said. (AP Photo/The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Austin Dave)

The posts, which have since been removed, included photos of guns, dead bodies and a sign for a Valencia High School, Lt. Brenda Cambra said. However, the sign was from a school with the same name in another state, she said.

"Valencia High School has been nominated to be shot up first," one post read, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The gun photos were stock photos from the Internet, Cambra said.

No weapons were found during a search of the home, Dubin said.

The posts included threats against women and minorities, authorities said.

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PHOTO: Karin Tucker, parent of four, speaks to William S. Hart Union School District spokeswoman Gail Pinker speaks at a news conference Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, in Valencia, Calif. A 15-year-old boy was arrested Sunday on suspicion of posting online threats to shoot students at Southern California schools, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said. Deputies arrested the teen after serving a search warrant at his home, Lt. Tom Bryski said. (AP Photo/The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Austin Dave)
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