Parents of Mammoth Unified School District students received email and text messages on Tuesday morning, April 24 announcing a Red Day, closing the school for the day due to electrical problems. That was a ruse created by Mammoth Lakes Police Chief Al Davis to keep students and staff off campus as law enforcement investigated a threat of violence made by a Mammoth Lakes High School student against other students and the school.
Mammoth High School Superintendent Lois Klein stated in a letter on the school’s website that law enforcement intended on apprehending the suspect before the start of classes on Tuesday. To ensure safety, Klein closed the school for the day but did not want to tip off the suspect—hence the electricity story.
The threat, the nature of which has not been revealed, was not current, but made “some time ago,” Davis said, but is just now coming to light. Mammoth Police, the Mono County District Attorney, school administration and staff members met until 11 p.m. on Monday night, conceiving a best course of action.
In the course of conducting interviews with the suspected student’s friends on Monday, Davis decided that the student should be apprehended before word of the investigation got back to him from those same friends. The suspect may have followed through on those threats if he knew he was going to be apprehended soon, Davis added.