Student detained after gun threats

Christian Shepherd
Staff Writer

Nicholas Ceballos, a freshman behavioral science major, was arrested and removed from his Studebaker-Hanawalt dormitory room at approximately 12:38 a.m. Tuesday for allegedly making criminal threats to his former high school.

Ceballos was released from West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga after posting a $50,000 bail that same day.

Ceballos, 19, is too young to legally purchase firearms in California, but that does not mean he could not still have access to weapons.

“How easy would it be for someone to have a buddy buy it for them under their name?” Cpl. Ruben Perez of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said, referencing the recent Florida shooting.

The investigation began when law enforcement received a report from an anonymous person who allegedly overheard Ceballos threatening to “shoot up” Ruben S. Ayala High School in Chino Hills.

Reports of the alleged threat are still being finalized, so it is unclear whether any weapons were found in either residence.

Chino Hills deputies were dispatched to Ayala High School at 2:59 p.m. Monday in response to the threat. The school was closed when the deputies arrived at the scene.

San Bernardino County Detectives Wendy Beaton and Eileen Smith obtained a search warrant for Ceballos and his residence.

According to ULV spokesman Rod Leveque, the sheriff’s deputies notified Campus Safety of their intention to serve the arrest warrant on campus.

“Campus Safety officers monitored the situation and remained in communication with the deputies, but were not directly involved in making an arrest,” Leveque said in an emailed interview Thursday.

Juan Regalado, associate dean of students, said he could not confirm whether Ceballos will be allowed back on campus because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.

However, the University’s code of conduct states: “The University of La Verne reserves the right to exercise its authority of interim suspension upon notification that a student is facing criminal investigation and/or complaint.”

While Campus Safety declined to comment, Leveque said that Campus Safety has been in contact with La Verne Police Department to arrange an active shooter drill, but a date has not been determined.

In an email released to the University community Tuesday, Campus Safety said that it was “taking appropriate action in the interest of the safety of the campus community” and that students should “always be aware of your surroundings.”

“We have always taken threats seriously,” Perez said. “Now, more people are sensitive to anyone making threats of violence towards schools and are starting to report them more often.”

Investigators have concluded that there are no additional threats related to this investigation.

Christian Shepherd can be reached at


  1. If you gonna post a story, make sure you try and get both sides. It turns out that talking about my concerns over my old schools safety is considered a threat. The fact that the police got an arrest warrant before even investigating further was also an issue because I never had plans for nor weapons for an alleged attack on the school that I happily graduated from. And considering that the DA dropped the charges and the dean let me back in, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not guilty for a lie someone said.

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