Charges dismissed in American River College threat

Ex-student released from jail as DA cites need for further investigation

Citing the need for more information, prosecutors tabled charges against a former American River College student arrested last week for making what police alleged was a “credible threat” to carry out a violent act against the campus.

Kristofer Wayne Clark, 21, was first taken into custody around 6:10 p.m. October 8. Police say a student overheard Clark making the threat at American River College's Student Center last Thursday. The student reported the incident to a faculty member, who in turn reported it to campus police. Police say a search of Clark's residence turned up weapons registered to his parents, which were confiscated. No motive has been identified, and the case has now stalled.

On Tuesday, prosecutors dismissed charges pending further investigation. Clark was released from jail that afternoon.

A Facebook group titled “Truth for Kristofer Clark” had amassed 601 followers as of Tuesday, with messages of support for Clark pouring in, alongside updates from his parents. “Anyone who knows Kristofer knows the accusation against him is false. Kris is a lover and doesn't have violence in him,” Clark's mother, Holly Davis-Clark wrote. “Kris is extremely scared right now. We all believe he is being used as an example. … The only consistent thing we have heard is there doesn't seem to be much if any proof of the claim.”

News of Clark's arrest came just hours after shootings at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz. and Texas Southern University in Houston each claimed one victim, and days after a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon left 10 dead and nine wounded. It also comes one month after a Sacramento City College student was shot dead on campus.

Four teenagers were arrested in Tuolumne County earlier this month for an alleged plot to carry out a mass shooting at Summerville High School. Similar to the incident at American River College, the Tuolumne plot was uncovered when a student reported suspicious activity to the school's administration. American River College President Thomas Greene said the incident reinforces his idea of campus safety as “a shared responsibility.”

“Campus safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Greene said at an October 8 press conference. “We are very pleased that a potential threat has been diffused because of the proactive response of students and staff.”

Police are asking that anyone with information about the potential threat to contact the Los Rios Police Department at (916) 558-2221.