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Copycat threats rise after mass shootings

Posted at 9:12 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 22:12:01-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Law enforcement officials from across the Coastal Bend tell us, that since the tragedy in Uvalde, copycat threats have been on the rise.

“One is too many. There shouldn’t be any threats after this,” Corpus Christi Police Department public information officer, Travis Pace said."It's a trend we see often after a mass shooting."

One father tells us the scary part is not knowing if the threat is real or not.

“I'm afraid of a copycat crime," said Jeremiah De La Rosa, a parent to 9-year-old girl. "I’m afraid of what could go on. I know they’re upping their cop patrol and everything, but these are babies, they’re innocent."

Wednesday, CCPD was called out to West Oso Independent School District for a false threat. That’s one of many that have come since the mass shooting in Uvalde.

“Over the past week or so afterward, we have seen a number of threats coming in. And you know, it’s unfortunate that we see these. And we want to do everything in our power to catch these individuals,” Pace said

Aransas Pass Police Chief, Eric Blanchard, said he’s also been notified of an alarming amount of threats

“I had people reporting threats to me over the weekend that were happening in neighboring jurisdictions and I shared those with those jurisdictions," he said. "So, you do see a rise in copycats and the likes of people just wanting to sensationalize and some maybe even wanting to carry it out."

The question arises as to, how do police know if these threats are real?

Both Corpus Christi and Aransas Pass Police said it doesn’t matter. They treat all calls or threats as if they’re real until proven otherwise.

“We’re going to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law, it’s not funny,” said Pace

So why do we see an uptick in threats after a mass shooting?

Pace said it could be any reason from someone thinking they’re funny to someone wanting to scare others.

“I think that for some it emboldens them," said Blanchard. "Some that maybe, well they did it there, I could do it better. Let me do it this way. They try to see if they can outmatch it. And yes, I do think that it’s attention-seeking."

People are in a heightened awareness state right now following the shooting of 21 people in Uvalde, but Pace thinks that attentiveness will fade as it typically does.

“People get desensitized, they become complacent because this happens a lot," said Pace. "We say don’t. Life in general, pay attention to your surroundings, be aware of whats going on, have a plan of action. Unfortunately today you have to be ready to act.”

Police continue to insist that if you see something, say something and contact law enforcement first.

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