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Teens accused of Facebook shooting threats

Dec. 17, 2012 at 4:53 PM   |   Comments

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COLUMBIA, Tenn., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Two young men in California and Tennessee faced charges Monday for their alleged Facebook posts threatening mass school shootings, authorities said.

Kyle Bangayan, 24, of Pomona, Calif., was arrested at his parents' East Hollywood home Sunday where police confiscated nine guns, the Los Angeles Times reported. It wasn't clear who owned the weapons and none were found at Bangayan's residence, the newspaper said.

Bangayan was held on $500,000 bail after being booked on suspicion of making criminal threats and held on $500,000 bail.

Sources told the Times his alleged Facebook threat made reference to "kindergarten and elementary school kids." City police said specific schools were not named but the threat referred to the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

In Tennessee, Shawn Lenz, 19, of Columbia was arrested at his parents' home Sunday and charged with terrorism, harassment and possession of drug paraphernalia, The (Columbia) Daily Herald reported.

Police were called to Lenz's home after a woman complained to the Maury County Sheriff's Department about a Facebook post on Lenz's Facebook in which he allegedly wrote: "feel like goin on a rampage, kinda like the school shooting were that one guy killed some teachers and a bunch of students."

Police seized a computer, at least three shotguns, one rifle and drug paraphernalia from Lenz's home, Capt. Jimmy Tennyson said.

Lenz's friends responded with their own reaction, saying his post was "meant to be a joke," and Lenz "doesn't have the heart to take a life." Others, however, said they saw it as a possible plea for help or an ominous threat.

Tennyson said police did not hesitate to take action after receiving the report about Lenz.

"You look at what happened to those poor little children up there in Connecticut, then someone's gonna go on Facebook and make this kind of comment?" Tennyson said. "I don't think it's going to be taken lightly regardless of where you are, whether it was meant in a joking manner or if it was serious."

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