No charges for man over Facebook school threats

Officers toll visit nearly 600 elementary and middle schools

US police arrested a man for allegedly making threats on Facebook to local elementary schools, invoking last week's Connecticut massacre -- but prosecutors declined to press charges Monday.

Kyle Bangayan, 24, was arrested on Sunday at his parents' Los Angeles home, where a cache of nine weapons including rifles and handguns was found, said a police spokesman.

But the LA County District Attorney's Office said the Facebook posting, which Bangayan described as a joke, contained no specific threats.

"There is no reference to threatening actions toward any specific victim or school, which is required" to press charges, according to a DA office assessment.

Bangayan warned that if people did not stop posting about the shootings in Connecticut, he would do the same thing, according to an internal report by Assistant Head Deputy District Attorney John Gilligan.

"He referenced that thousands of kids die in third world countries every day" and said Americans should get over the shootings, Gilligan wrote.

The alleged threats came as the United States reels from an elementary school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut that left 20 young children and six adults dead on Friday.

LAPD chief Charlie Beck said Bangayan's alleged posting included "very specific threats and clear and present ability to carry out those threats."

Beck also announced that officers will visit all of the nearly 600 elementary and middle schools in the Los Angeles area at least once daily when children return to school in January.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa meanwhile announced that an annual gun buy-back initiative, in which owners can anonymously trade in weapons for grocery store gift cards, will be brought forward from next May to the day after Christmas.

The program has helped remove nearly 8,000 guns from circulation since 2009, he said.

On Saturday, shoppers were sent running for cover when a gunman opened fire outside a mall in Newport Beach, south of Los Angeles, firing some 50 shots into the air and at the ground, re-loading several times.

Nobody was injured in the incident, and the gunman was detained by police without resisting.

 

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