Santa Clara and San Jose police have deemed a social media post threatening a mass shooting at Westfield Valley Fair Mall as “non-credible.”
The warning posted Tuesday on Reddit was titled “Fun at the mall.” The message from someone going by the name of James threatened to show up “fully armed” at the mall—which straddles the border of San Jose and Santa Clara—at 3pm Thursday.
The poster, who described himself as “having a hard time at school lately,” said he would live-stream the shooting and post updates of it to his Snapchat.
A spokesman for the San Jose Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment. But the agency took to Twitter to say there’s nothing to worry about.
On 3-11-2020, @SanJosePD was made aware of a threatening social media post directed toward Westfield Valley Fair mall in San Jose. The post stated there would be a mass shooting. Follow-up investigation determined the post is not credible.
— SJPD PIO (@SJPDPIO) March 11, 2020
San Jose PD went on to say that similar threats from the same person were directed at San Jose High School and other places throughout California.
In a Facebook post, the Santa Clara Police Department echoed SJPD’s statement, saying they, too, deemed it to be not a credible threat. “It is, and continues to be, our priority to ensure the safety of our community,” the police department wrote.
SCPD echoed its counterpart in San Jose and thanked the public for bringing the Reddit post to the attention of law enforcement. “We greatly appreciate the vigilance of the community for bringing such incidents to our attention,” the agency wrote in its public statement. “It is through this partnership we are able to keep our community safe.
Santa Clara also warned against circulating similar threats. By Wednesday afternoon, a screenshot of the Reddit post had been widely shared in local Facebook groups.
“Information, and misinformation, circulated through social media can cause unnecessary fear,” the Santa Clara PD noted. “If you come across a threatening social media post, please do NOT [sic] like, retweet or share it.”
Who would be crazy enough to go to a mall with Corona-19 lurking on door handles and railing. Not Me!
China needs to pay!!!! I’m out s job because of this bulls***
> I’m out s job because of this bulls***
I feel your pain. I feel MY pain.
> China needs to pay!!!!
There’s a LOT or people who need a public caning or worse for the INSANE coronavirus hyperbola.
Lots of news media and “news bloggers” broadcast the most irresponsible, horrific worst case scenarios over and over in the relentless pursuit of “clicks”.
“You may have heard that it’s bad, but it’s REALLY, REALLY worse than you’ve been told. Blah! blah! blah!.”
Politicians bleated loud and long for “more money, more money, more money” and to BLAME “the other side”.
“Trump didn’t do enough. This wouldn’t have happened if Obama/Biden/Bernie were in charge. Blah! blah! blah!”
People have a right to be mad, But it’s very difficult to punish the media, or bloggers, or politicians in any way that will discourage future bad behavior.
My only answer is: keep your wits about yourself while everyone around you is losing their minds. And keep telling yourself, “it’s only the flu, and I’ve had the flu before.”