A Rancho Bernardo High School student and his father were arrested Friday after San Diego police were alerted to a school shooting threat.
The San Diego Police Department announced the arrests Tuesday.
On January 26, 2024, the San Diego Police Department responded to Rancho Bernardo High School to investigate reports of a student making verbal threats of a school shooting. Responding officers conducted a preliminary investigation and as a result took the student, a juvenile, who allegedly made the threats into custody and later booked them into Juvenile Hall.
The teen’s parents were contacted regarding the incident. A Gun Violence Restraining Order was issued and served to the juvenile. A search warrant was obtained and served at the juvenile’s residence to secure any firearms they may have access to.
During the search, several un-serialized firearms commonly referred to as ghost guns, and other assault weapons were confiscated along with several destructive devices. The San Diego Metro Arson Strike Team (MAST) assisted with the safe retrieval and seizure of the destructive devices. The juvenile’s father, Neal Anders, 45, was arrested on charges of possession of illegal firearms, manufacturing assault weapons and possession of a destructive device. He was booked into county jail and is scheduled to be arraigned in San Diego Superior Court downtown on Thursday, February 1, 2024
“The San Diego Police Department takes all reports of potential threats to our schools and public very seriously. SDPD’s Northeastern Division, Ghost Gun Team, MAST and Threat Management Unit worked tirelessly and collaboratively in this case to ensure the safety of the students at Rancho Bernardo High School and all residents. I commend them for their outstanding work,” Police Chief David Nisleit said.
The suspects’ home was located just blocks from the school, which is part of the Poway Unified School District. In addition to guns, police found a large cache of explosives and rocket-propelled grenades.
According to NBC San Diego, the father, Neal Anders, is a “doomsday prepper.”
Although the school is no longer under threat, police are on campus this week to provide an added layer of security.
“I want to commend the students who acted responsibly by reporting what they heard,” Principal Hans Becker said in a statement. “Please use this opportunity to remind your children, if they see something, say something to continue to keep our community safe through our collective vigilance.”
On the same day police announced the arrests, a high school student in Sacramento was shot by another student on school grounds. The victim is recovering with non-life-threatening injuries. A 14-year-old suspect has been arrested.