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Loyola student never intended to shoot up campus, attorney says

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A 21-year-old Loyola Marymount University student arrested for posting an online message threatening a campus shooting spree never intended to carry it out, his attorney said.

Carlos Huerta's attorney, Raul G. Lomas, said Huerta cried upon realizing how serious the situation was.

"My gut feeling is that a lot of people on this site want to write something more shocking and more outrageous than the next,'' Lomas said Wednesday. "It was just an immature, childish act. He regrets it and he's paying for it.''

On Saturday, Lomas said Huerta posted an anonymous message on a campus chatroom saying: "I am going to shoot and kill as many people as I can until which time I'm incapacitated or killed by police.'' Police arrested the junior civil engineering major that night for investigation of making criminal threats.

Huerta posted the $100,000 (euro68,143) bail on Sunday. He has not been charged, but police will bring the case before the district attorney's office for consideration next week. Huerta is expected to be arraigned on Jan. 7.

Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Michael Downing, head of the Counterterrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, said "there was never an indication that the threat made was a valid one.'' Police did not find any guns in Huerta's apartment or elsewhere, Lomas said.

"Here's a kid who's a good student with a very loving family,'' Lomas said. "He's never been arrested before.''

Officials at the university, meanwhile, are considering whether Huerta should be allowed to remain a student at Loyola. A message left at Loyola Wednesday was not immediately returned.

University officials reported the threat to police around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, said police spokesman Officer Mike Lopez.

Officers were dispatched to patrol the campus as a precaution and campus entrances were restricted.

Investigators working with campus officials were eventually able to determine that the threat had come from the computer registered to Huerta, police said.-AP

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