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Threat against Los Angeles schools likely a hoax, officials say

PBS NewsHour will live stream updates from Los Angeles in the player above.

UPDATED 6:30 p.m. EST | California Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said that the “preliminary assessment is that it was a hoax or something designed to disrupt school districts in large cities.”

“The investigation is ongoing as to where the threat originated from and who was responsible,” he said in a statement.

UPDATED 1:30 p.m. EST | A Los Angeles school official said that an email threat sent to a school board member is believed to have come from an IP address in Frankfurt, Germany.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said in a press conference Tuesday that he received information about a “very specific threat” that was delivered by email to Los Angeles Unified School District board members.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the threat included several forms of violence, but did not elaborate. Authorities made clear they were still vetting the threat.

Watch the press conference below:

New York City officials, though, said a similar threat was sent to schools early Tuesday morning. An anonymous law enforcement official told The New York Times that the emailed threat appeared to come from the same person and IP address in Germany. New York schools considered the threat a hoax and did not close schools.

ORIGINAL STORY 10:41 a.m. EST | Authorities have closed all campuses in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest school district.

The Los Angeles Times reports that officials will conduct searches at all schools Tuesday after a threat was called into a school board member, though it was unclear which school it was.

In a statement, the LAUSD said: “All LAUSD schools are closed today to ensure safety of students. Parents should retrieve students at reunion gates with proper ID.”

LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines said he got word of the threat around 5 a.m. PST.

Los Angeles School Police Chief Steve Zipperman said the threat came in electronic form and was sent to several unspecified campuses.

The Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI are investigating. “The threat is still being analyzed,” Zipperman said.

The school district enrolls around 650,000 students, according to the California Department of Education website.

This comes less than two weeks after suspected terrorists opened fire at a San Bernardino office, killing 14.

PBS NewsHour will update this report.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story referenced a bomb threat. At this time, it is unclear what type of threat it was.

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