Suspect in school gun threats identified

TAKEN IN — Neiman Jerome Smith is led out of Santa Monica College by Santa Monica police officers after having made threatening phone calls in two separate occasions, yesterday. Smith, a student at SMC, turned himself in at the school’s Psychological Services center. Courtesy of Emilio Sedeno/


By Erik Luna


Neiman Jerome Smith, the 19-year-old student that called and threatened to shoot-up two schools, was charged with making felony criminal threats according to the Los Angeles Police Department Media Relations Section.

According to Sgt. Richard Lewis of the Santa Monica Police Department, Smith, a student at Santa Monica College, turned himself in and was apprehended at the school’s Psychological Services without incident. His bail is set at $50,000 pending his court appearance.

NO ENTRANCE—  East Los Angeles College instructors are denied entrance to the parking structure on Floral Dr. and Collegian Ave. by Deputy Sheriff Malagon during the school’s lockdown, yesterday morning. CN/ Erik Luna

“A perimeter was established around the college.  As officers were being deployed onto the campus, it was learned that the suspect was on campus in the Psychological Services Office.  Officers detained the subject without incident,” Lewis stated in a press release.

Lewis also said that Smith was suicidal with no prior history of suicidal tendencies. Smith was unarmed at the time of his arrest.

Both East Los Angeles College and SMC were on lockdown, along with numerous elementary and middle schools in their vicinities after authorities had received the threatening phone calls.

The ELAC sheriffs station received a call at 7:30 a.m. from CHP, which led to a campus evacuation. The lockdown was lifted around 10 a.m.

SMC resumed their regular schedule, but ELAC, along with its satellite campus in South Gate was closed for the rest of the day.

“I will be meeting with our ELAC emergency response team to evaluate our response to this emergency,” said ELAC’s interim-President Farley Herzek in a mass email. “My sincerest thanks to all ELAC staff for assisting with this morning’s efforts.  I deeply appreciate all of your extra efforts.”

ELAC reopened today and classes resumed their normal schedule.

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