An Oklahoma man who grew up in Los Angeles was arrested Wednesday on federal charges 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.
Marcus James Buchanan, 44, of Blackwell, Oklahoma, is expected to make his initial appearance Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Wichita, Kansas.
Buchanan is charged with one count of making a telephonic threat to damage or destroy buildings by fire or explosives, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to court papers, during a period of less than two hours on the morning of Feb. 28, Buchanan allegedly called in bomb threats to two elementary schools, two middle schools and a high school in Los Angeles. In a call to one of the elementary schools, Buchanan allegedly threatened to shoot the children as they exited the building, prosecutors said.
On April 27 and 28, Buchanan allegedly made additional bomb threats targeting two of the Los Angeles schools he had previously threatened, this time threatening to shoot children at other schools. On April 27, he allegedly called an elementary school and told an 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 an affidavit.
When the employee asked who was calling, Buchanan allegedly responded, “If you try to find out, I will shoot you,” prosecutors said.
School staff notified police and placed the school on lockdown. Police searched the campus for explosives or unusual items but found none.
On April 28, Buchanan allegedly called the same school again and said there was a pipe bomb placed at the school’s address. Police were again notified and the campus was locked down and searched, but no destructive devices were found.
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.” That school was also placed on lockdown, but no explosives or unusual items were found.
Phone records determined that the threatening calls came from a number linked to Buchanan, the affidavit states.
If convicted, Buchanan would face up to 10 years in federal prison, prosecutors noted.