Suspect said he was 'playing a joke' on classmates with alleged hit list of 8 students

A Lincoln Junior High School student has been suspended and could face criminal charges as a result of alleged cyber threats made towards other students, the Kern County Sheriff's Office reported Monday.

Deputies started an investigation on Monday at 9 a.m. after receiving a report that junior high students had been threatened by text messages sent via a cell phone, Sgt. Martin Downs said.

The report came from the parent of one of the students who received the text threat, Downs said

"The threats were made via cell phone using a type of texting software. These threats included a list of eight Lincoln Junior High students who the suspect said he intended to harm while they were at school," Downs said.

The suspect, identified only as a 13-year-old boy, used an app called "kik" which allows a person to send text messages using only a screen name and not the actual name or number of the person sending the text, Downs explained.

"The investigation led to the identification of a juvenile suspect, who was also a student at Lincoln Junior High, " Downs said. "Deputies contacted the suspect and his parents, who fully cooperated in the investigation. Deputies interviewed the suspect who said he was playing a joke on his classmates by sending them the threatening text message.

Deputies found the student has no access to firearms or evidence of an ongoing plan to harm his classmates."

Downs said the suspect was suspended from Lincoln Junior High School and the case is being forwarded to the Kern County District Attorney's Office Juvenile Division for review.