In late January, a student at Rancho Bernardo High School near San Diego reportedly told fellow classmates he was planning a mass shooting. Acting swiftly, students contacted authorities to report the threats, and police subsequently raided his home. Soon, their fears were confirmed.

During the search, police found dozens of weapons and explosives—including rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), unserialized firearms known as “ghost guns,” and equipment designed for manufacturing additional firearms and ammunition. Both the student and his father—described as a “doomsday prepper”—were arrested. The father was booked on multiple felony charges, but how the family acquired this absolute arsenal remains a mystery still under investigation.



Words To Live By

The incident once again highlights the importance of abiding by the principle of “if you see something, say something.” This memorable instruction introduced by the Department of Homeland Security nearly 15 years ago encourages citizens to “recognize and report signs of potential threats.” Rightfully, the students who courageously and dutifully heeded this message have been commended by the community – their actions may have saved lives.

Behavioral indicators come in all kinds of forms—from changes in appearance, attitude, and social engagement, to more overt signs like boasting of violent acts or direct threats like those in Rancho Bernardo. And threatening behavior can originate from all types of sources. Despite widely accepted statistical commonalities, there are still plenty of examples that show there is no one profile for a potential mass shooter.

Regardless of the nature or origin of threats, it’s important to be attuned to their seriousness, and critical to report them in a timely manner. Doing so could be instrumental in preventing yet another tragedy.

With expertise including Run-Hide-Fight, active shooter preparedness and response, situational awareness, de-escalation techniques, and more, The Power of Preparedness provides critical guidance that can save lives. Contact us to learn more.