SANTA ANA (AP) – A man threatened a staff member at a private university in California and posted videos of himself holding guns and talking about a desire to go on a killing rampage, police said Monday in announcing his arrest.
Authorities said they got a report Wednesday about an email exchange between David Kenneth Smith, 39, of Los Angeles, and the staff member over discipline Smith faced for marijuana use when he attended Soka University in Aliso Viejo in 2008.
Smith then emailed the staffer a link to a YouTube video showing him in a bathtub with a semi-automatic pistol on his chest speaking about the school, said Jaimee Blashaw, a spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
He also had recently posted other videos of himself holding weapons and speaking of his desire to kill, the department said.
“There were multiple videos of him talking about killing sprees, and in several videos, he’s carrying a firearm,” Blashaw said. “The threat was credible enough.”
Smith was arrested Friday, and authorities recovered nine loaded weapons registered to him.
The district attorney’s office charged Smith with one felony count of criminal threats. He was being held on $1 million bail and waiting to be arraigned Monday.
It was not immediately clear whether Smith had an attorney.
Smith has no criminal history in Orange County, Blashaw said. She said it was not clear why Smith reached out to the school, but when the exchanges escalated, the university was right to report it.
Smith graduated from Soka University with a liberal-arts degree in 2008, said Wendy Harder, a school spokeswoman. The school has 450 students and was founded by a Japanese Buddhist philosopher and educator, she said.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.