In the wake of the Saugus High School shooting in Santa Clarita, California, several parents told local news outlets that the alleged shooter took to Instagram to post a warning ahead of the deadly attack. That account now appears to be a fake, with the person behind the Instagram page making new posts in the hours after the shooting.
Posts from the Instagram account first began to circulate on social media in the wake of Thursday’s deadly school shooting, in which police said a 15-year-old student opened fire in an attack that left at least one person dead. Parents of students at the high school had initially told KNX radio that the still-unnamed 15-year-old had written “Saugus have fun at school tomorrow” in the account bio hours before the shooting. The page had not been confirmed as belonging to the suspect at the time of the report, but many parents of Saugus High School students took to social media to share screenshots of the page, saying that their children connected it to the alleged shooter.
RedState also reported that parents connected the Instagram page to the alleged shooter, as well as included more background information about the teenager.
“One parent told RedState that the shooter was well-liked and ran track for the school, but changed after his father was killed by a drunk driver ‘around a year ago,'” the report noted, adding that the source confirmed the identity of the shooter but that the publication was withholding it until police confirmed the student’s identity.
But the account administrator changed the account bio to read “THE #1 worst meme account on Instagram” hours after the shooting took place. The change came in the wake of police confirming that the still-unnamed gunman had been taken to a hospital. The account also unfollowed other users, account activity that led commenters to conclude that the account did not actually belong to the shooter but instead to someone looking to garner attention from the tragedy.
The Instagram page identified as belonging to the suspect had no activity until one week ago, when there were a series of posts that included some violent content. One post included a screenshot from the live streaming video shared by the man who attacked mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
There did not appear to be any personal posts from the person behind the account.
Police have shared few details about the 15-year-old Asian male who they said carried out the attack at Saugus High School.
Citing multiple parents from the Hart Union School District, the RedState report noted that the suspect had been declared brain-dead at Henry Mayo Hospital and was being kept on life support pending notification of his family. There had been some confusion about the suspect’s status, with initial reports saying he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound but later reports from police indicating that he was still alive after having been taken to the hospital.