An Oklahoma man who grew up in Los Angeles was arrested Wednesday on a federal criminal complaint alleging that he telephoned bomb threats to five Los Angeles schools, including two elementary schools, and also threatened to shoot the children as they exited one of the elementary schools.
In one April 27 call, according to an affidavit filed as part of a criminal complaint, Marcus James Buchanan, 44, who now lives in Blackwell, Oklahoma, called an unknown LA elementary school and said to a school employee, “There is a bomb at your school and we will shoot the kids when they get out of the school. That is what you get for not accepting me in ’86,” according to the affidavit. When the employee asked who was calling, Buchanan allegedly responded, “If you try to find out, I will shoot you.”
That same day, Buchanan allegedly called a different elementary school and said, “Stop playing games you know who this is. I am going to shoot the school. I know the kids are there.” Afterwards, the school was placed on lockdown, but – as with all the incidents – no explosives or unusual items were found.
He also called back the schools the next day, prosecutors say, and said there was a pipe bomb placed at the school’s address. After receiving the bomb threat, the school staff notified police and placed the school on lockdown. Police searched the campus for explosives or unusual items but found none.
Buchanan is expected to make his initial appearance this afternoon in a federal courtroom in Wichita, Kansas charged with one count of making a threat through interstate commerce to damage or destroy buildings by fire or explosives. The FBI and LA School Police tracked Buchanan through cell phone records, the affidavit states.
The charges come as a sad procession of funerals are underway in Uvalde, Texas for 19 children and two teachers murdered in an unimaginable act of violence in an elementary school in the small border town.
If convicted, Buchanan would face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.