PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles police responded to Paso Robles High School Thursday morning to investigate reports that a 16-year-old former student was circulating photos via the social media app Snapchat depicting himself holding a pistol and displaying rifles. Students screen-captured the photos and showed them to school officials.
Police and school officials quickly determined the social media post did not pose a threat to PRHS.
The police arrested the former student and another 15-year-old student at PRHS in connection with illegally possessing the pistol depicted in the post.
The incident was unrelated to the other recent threats made against PRHS and there was no indication that the gun was ever on school grounds.
Investigators attempted to locate the gun depicted in the Snapchat post by interviewing family members and searching the homes of both boys. An extensive search was conducted untilizing a U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife K-9 unit trained to locate hidden firearms. No firearms were located during these searches.
“We forensically gathered evidence from one of the suspect’s phones and were able to confirm that the suspect was indeed the account that generated the post on Snapchat,” said Commander Tye Lewis of the Paso Robles Police Department.
After the extensive investigation, both boys were booked into the Juvenile Services Center in Paso Robles. They were booked on a single charge — violating the California Penal Code section 29610: A minor shall not possess a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
The Paso Robles Police Department would like to remind parents that responsible gun ownership and California State law require all firearms be kept out of the reach of minors. Allowing children to possess or handle guns unsupervised could result in criminal charges and arrest.
Parents are also strongly encouraged to closely monitor their children’s social media use. Close monitoring and early intervention when inappropriate activity occurs will help reduce the likelihood of irresponsible postings.
The Paso Robles School District and Paso Robles Police Department continue to work collaboratively to ensure student safety. The Police encourage everyone that “if you see something, say something.”