Teen Arrested After Eminem Lyrics About Columbine Pop Up On His Instagram
Police arrested a 15-year-old student from a Fresno high school this week after lyrics from an Eminem song about the Columbine shooting surfaced on his Instagram account. They also found several guns and rounds of ammunition in the teen's home during a search.
School was cancelled both at San Joaquin Memorial High School and St. Anthony's Catholic School—the school the teen had previously attended—on Tuesday in response to the alleged threats, the Fresno Bee reported. They reopened on Wednesday.
Fresno police began investigating the San Joaquin Memorial sophomore, whose name has not been released because he is a minor, on Monday when Eminem's "I'm Back" lyrics about the 1999 Columbine shooting were posted to his Instagram account. The only lyric that was apparently changed was "I'm Shady" to "I'm just like Shady":
I take seven kids from Columbine, stand 'em all in a line, add an AK-47, a revolver, a nine, a MAC-11 and it oughtta solve the problem of mine. And that's a whole school of bullies shot up all at one time. I'm just like Shady and just as crazy as the world was over this whole Y2K thing.
Another teen commented on the student's Instagram post with, "Bring me with man. I got some stuff [to] settle," to which the 15-year-old replied, "Ill text you when," and "I got a couple idiots' blocks I could knock off."
School officials notified Fresno police on Monday, and officers searched the teen's home. Authorities first found a gun sitting in the living room, and later several more unregistered guns, boxes of ammunition and a bulletproof vest stashed under floorboards in the teen's bedroom closet, the L.A. Times reports. They also confiscated the student's phone and iPad.
Police arrested the teen, who's facing the felony charge of making terrorist threats, and another other possible charge of disrupting school activity. During a news conference on Tuesday, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer described the teen as being "socially awkward" and a "loner." He said that the teen's mother died from an illness a year ago, he and his girlfriend had broken up recently, he wasn't doing well in school, was bullied by peers and recently quit the football team.
"We have every reason to believe that based on the information we have that there was a potential for a threat to be carried out," Dyer said. "Certainly, the weapons were present, the ammunition was present, and perhaps even the mindset was present to carry out those threats."
The teen's lawyer, Linden Lindahl, argued on Thursday to the Fresno Bee that the teen didn't post the lyrics on Instagram and that his account was hacked. Lindahl also said that the student just had a little argument with his girlfriend, not that they broke up, and that he wasn't depressed about his mother's death. Both the teen and his father argue that they didn't know about the guns.
The student's father could also be in hot water. He currently has a restraining order filed against him where he's not allowed to possess firearms, and could face the charge of negligent storage of the guns.
Detectives questioned the teen who responded to the Instagram post on Wednesday, according to the Fresno Bee. They did not arrest him. Though he now attends a school outside of Fresno County, he was a student at San Joaquin Memorial High School last year.