Yuma police say Facebook post warning about attack wasn’t a threat
PHOENIX – Authorities in a southwestern Arizona city said Tuesday they found no credible threat after investigating a Facebook post that appeared to warn of attacks resembling the recent shooting in El Paso, Texas.
The post was made on a page called Los Algodones Baja California México, which carried community information related to a town just across the border to the west of Yuma, Sgt. Lori Franklin of the Yuma Police Department said in an email.
Franklin’s email was also posted to the department’s Facebook page.
The post that sparked the investigation had an illustration of a person in military gear aiming a rifle and said, in Spanish: “Walmart of Yuma and Yuma Palms at high risk for possible attack on Mexicans. Take serious precautions.”
The page had about 13,000 followers, but about three hours after the post was made Tuesday afternoon, after the Yuma police response was made, the entire page was gone from Facebook. It’s not clear whether the deletion was initiated by the group’s administrator or the website.
“The Yuma Police Department has been in contact with other agencies and found no credible source regarding any possible threat,” Franklin said.
“It appears the person who made the post is giving their opinion that Yuma may be at risk.”
The post echoed the mass shooting that took place Aug. 3 at a Walmart in El Paso that left 22 people dead and dozens injured.
The suspect was taken into custody and reportedly told authorities he traveled hundreds of miles from the Dallas area to the border city to target Mexicans.
He also is believed to have posted an anti-Hispanic rant before the shooting.
He was linked to a message posted before the attack that complained about a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Franklin said Yuma police continues to verify any information that comes in.