In an email exchange that turned sour, a former student of Soka University allegedly sent an instructor links to a menacing vlog he had recorded. In the video the man spoke of his desire to execute a mass shooting. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced that he was apprehended on Monday.
David Kenneth Smith attended Soka University, a private college in Aliso Viejo, nearly a decade ago. In 2008 he was accused of smoking marijuana and he was handed down disciplinary actions for his alleged infraction.
The instructor on the receiving end of the email exchange with Smith was involved in assigning the consequences for the marijuana use. Orange County Sherriff’s Department deputies reported that when the accused became discontented with the correspondence he sent a link to a YouTube video containing footage of himself laying in a bathtub while holding a semiautomatic pistol against his chest as he spoke about the university. In the video Smith discussed the way university staff was regularly unkind to him, and he claims during his enrollment there he was wrongfully fined for and accused of violations he did not commit.
The university reported the email event to the authorities, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force and Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center launched an investigation alongside the sheriff’s department. It was believed that Smith’s threats should be taken seriously and an attack was possible.
39-year-old Smith was taken into custody by OCSD on November 2, and he was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats. He has no prior criminal history in Orange County.
Following his arrest investigators confiscated nine loaded firearms registered to Smith. While inspecting the YouTube channel several recent videos were posted depicting Smith holding firearms and making comments about wanting to go on a killing spree, suggesting the location could possibly be a college campus where he could shoot students or police officers.
Smith pleaded not guilty, and he is being held on $1 million bail awaiting a hearing in the next week. The Orange County District Attorney’s office stated that he faces up to three years in federal prison if convicted of the charge.
If you or someone you love is suspected of making criminal threats, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.