(UPDATE – 11:34 a.m.) I just spoke to Redding Police Chief Douglas Fuchs about the investigation of John Read Middle School students’ Instagram photos of guns and he pointed out the consequences social media postings can have once they go online.
“Certainly anything that is posted online once it gets out there it’s read by all and oftentimes it’s interpreted differently by all so whether it’s words or photographs we all have to be very cognizant about the consequences of whatever it is we put out there on the internet,” he said.
“In this case photographs of firearms and facsimile firearms obviously raise concerns among students, among parents and certainly among law enforcement. It’s something that we take very seriously,” he said.
REDDING — Photos of handguns posted to Instagram by two town middle-school students prompted responses by police on Thursday.
“I think I’m ready to go to school :-),” read the caption a 13-year-old student wrote beneath a photo posted to his Instagram feed depicting what appeared to be two handguns. The weapons were actually pellet guns, police said.
Police located the 13-year-old boy who posted the photo Thursday morning and after an investigation charged him with disorderly conduct, police said. He was released into his parents’ custody and police seized the two guns, one of which had an orange tip indicating it was not an actual firearm, police said.
The next incident came later in the day when another 13-year-old middle school student posted a photo of a large revolver with the caption “Damn, I love revolvers.”
That incident remains under investigation though police determined the boy pulled the photo from the internet and did not actually have access to the gun, police said.
School administration participated in the investigations and “at no time were students ever in any actual danger,” Redding Police Chief Douglas S. Fuchs said.