PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - A 19-year-old Palm Springs man accused of using a friend's Facebook account a few days after the Connecticut school massacre to post a message about killing people at Palm Springs High School is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.
David Guadalupe Torres, who is charged with one count of making criminal threats, is free on a $75,000 bond. He was arrested about 1:40 a.m. on Dec. 18, 2012, a few hours after the parents of two students reported the Facebook posting, according to Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Kovaleff.
Torres, who is not a student at the school, allegedly wrote "im going 2 kill every 1 at pshs 2morow so stay home I got a gun" on a 15-year-old friend's Facebook page the afternoon of Dec. 17, Kovaleff said.
He could get up to three years in prison if convicted, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.
Torres had been playing video games at home with the friend, who is a sophomore at Palm Springs High. The friend logged into his Facebook account on Torres' computer and didn't log out when he left the room, which is when Torres allegedly posted the message, the sergeant said.
The friend's sister told her sibling about the post and he confronted Torres, who allegedly said he wrote it as a joke. The friend deleted the post, Kovaleff said.
Police found no evidence "to link Torres or his 15-year-old friend to actually carrying out the threat, but will handle any incident of this type with a zero-tolerance policy due to the serious nature of the threat," the sergeant said.
He said the friend was questioned and determined not to be "criminally liable," adding that police searched Torres' and the teen's homes and didn't find any weapons.
Police Chief Al Franz said police take such matters very seriously.
"One of the most critical responsibilities of law enforcement is to ensure that our children and their parents feel safe when children are attending school," he said after Torres' arrest. "That feeling of safety was recently shattered in America, as a result of the tragic events that occurred (Dec. 14) at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn."