A California State University Channel Islands student who was arrested after threatening to go on a shooting spree last Thursday told the police she did not intend to hurt anyone and that her Facebook.com message warning fellow students to hide under desks was meant to be a joke.
The school administrators and local officials in Channel Islands did not see the humor, as the 18-year-old was arrested and taken to Ventura County Jail.
Alisha Salazar is out on bail and could face up to one year in prison if she is convicted with a felony charge, Lt. Michael Morris of the Channel Islands Police Department said.
Salazar, an English major, was arrested while in a composition class on Thursday after posting threats on her Facebook profile web page earlier in the week, according to a school spokesperson.
Facebook.com is an Internet site where people can socialize.
Salazar’s online message read: “Alisha Salazar is going on a school shooting spree! Watch out kiddies, better hide under that desk! hahaha,” according to an administrative statement.
Salazar was arrested less than 30 minutes after a tip from a student, Morris said.
CSUN sociology emeritus professor Lewis Yablonsky said there are many individuals around the world who feel alone and alienated, who might suffer from paranoia or could have been abused and for whom an event such as the Virginia Tech shooting acts like a trigger to create trouble.
The ongoing news coverage also stimulates people who want the notoriety, Yablonsky said.