Authorities: Threat to shoot up 2 schools was no joke
By The Star Staff
Col. Roberto Rivera, director of the Puerto Rico Police Bureau’s Criminal Investigations Superintendency, said Tuesday that alleged shooting threats at Juan José Osuna and University Gardens high schools in San Juan were not a joke.
“We activated the protocol to work [the situation] with the seriousness it deserved and presented,” Rivera said in a radio interview. “We could not start from the premise that it was a joke, because we do not know the mentality of the young man. But with a clearer picture, after having finished the investigation and leaving him in the custody of his father, we could see that in fact it was not a joke and, in fact, if inside the mind of the young man there was the desire to commit shootings at both schools.”
“We already have the complete case and it will be presented to the juvenile prosecutor,” he added. “She will determine the process to follow from now on.”
Rivera noted that one of the three minors involved was one who received text messages, while another is off the island. A third minor was also a recipient of the messages and cooperated with authorities. The messages were in a chat among ninth graders at University Gardens on the WhatsApp social network. A mother alerted a teacher to the messages.
Rivera noted that the mother of one of the minors was detained with firearms, for which she has a permit.
César González, director of security at the Department of Education, said in an interview with Julio Rivera Saniel on Radio Isla 1320 that students at both schools will resume classes and that emotional counseling will be available to them.
“This type of act cannot be minimized, because there were some messages where they made allegations to commit a criminal act against two schools,” González said. “That’s why we reacted the way we did.”