Twin Peaks Middle School in Poway remained under the watch of extra security Tuesday after a student allegedly threatened to shoot two dozen people.
An attorney who said he represents the student's family also released a statement claiming the 12-year-old "is dealing with emotional problems, while also coping with one parent's battle with cancer."
The student, a seventh-grader at the middle school, is accused of emailing Principal Kelly Burke his plans to shoot 23 unnamed students and a specific teacher on Monday during second period. The email was sent Friday, but Burke did not see it until Saturday morning and alerted authorities who traced it to the 12-year-old's home, officials said.
The student was arrested and taken to a hospital for treatment, officials said. Still, the threat—which officials say they believe is an isolated incident—prompted some parents to keep their children home from school on Monday even as additional sheriff's deputies patrolled the campus. Superintendent John Collins said "very few" kids had missed classes on Monday as a result. Final attendance figures for the day were not immediately available Tuesday.
[Watch: Collins, at a PUSD board meeting Monday night, talks about Twin Peaks returning to normal in a video attached to this story.]
A San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman said extra deputies were back on campus Tuesday as well, though she would not say how many to avoid revealing the department's security tactics. Both uniformed and plainclothes deputies had been on-site Monday, Collins said.
The alleged threat gained national attention as school officials remain on high alert following December's mass shooting of 20 students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. In the Twin Peaks case, authorities seized five rifles, three shotguns and three handguns from the student's home Saturday night, officials said. The threat also mentioned 3,000 rounds of ammunition, but officials won't say how much, if any, ammunition they took from the student's home.
San Diego attorney Douglas C. Brown, who said he represent's the student's family, released a statement Monday apologizing for the alleged threat, saying there was "no intention or ability" for the seventh-grader to hurt anyone.
The family of the 12-year-old boy, arrested this weekend for an email directed at the Twin Peaks Middle School, would like to offer its heartfelt apology to the teachers, students, and the San Diego community. The weapons seized by law enforcement were safely secured and locked, so that they were at all times inaccessible to the minor. The minor had no intention or ability to carry out any threats. Presently, the minor is receiving, and will continue to receive, mental health treatment. The child is dealing with emotional problems, while also coping with one parent's battle with cancer.
The family is profoundly sorry, and will do all within its power to assure the minor has continuing mental health treatment.
At Monday night's Poway Unified school board Meeting, Collins said all is "back to normal" at Twin Peaks and the main focus for the children is learning with a relatively "normal" atmosphere.
The superintendent said sheriff's deputies will continue to be on campus during the week, and both students and faculty will have counselors available to them through Friday.