Man Charged with Brandishing Gun, Threatening to Shoot College Students

Gregory Joshua Abejon of San Jacinto

BANNING (CNS) - A 26-year-old man accused of brandishing a gun and threatening to shoot students at Mt. San Jacinto College was charged today with multiple counts of making criminal threats and assault with a firearm.

Gregory Joshua Abejon of San Jacinto was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles following a Riverside County sheriff's investigation into the alleged threats.

Abejon is charged with six counts each of making criminal threats and firearm assault, as well as one count of bringing a gun onto a college campus.

The defendant, who is being held on $2 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta, is slated to make his initial court appearance this afternoon at the Banning Justice Center.

According to sheriff's officials, about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Abejon allegedly approached a half-dozen diners in the campus cafeteria, flashed a handgun and threatened to shoot them. No shots were fired, however, and the defendant fled immediately afterward, Sgt. James Burton said.

Deputies who provide security at the campus were summoned, along with patrolmen from the sheriff's Hemet and San Jacinto stations, according to Burton.

The campus was locked down as a search got underway to find the gunman. Lockdowns were also ordered at three nearby San Jacinto Unified School District campuses -- San Jacinto Leadership Academy, Clayton A. Record Junior Elementary School and Betty Gibble Learning Center.

An all-clear was given at those campuses about 1:30 p.m., and classes resumed, according to the district.

The college lockdown was lifted around the same time, and students and faculty were allowed to leave, but classes were canceled for the remainder of the day.

Abejon was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport about 3 p.m., preparing to board a flight in an alleged attempt to flee the country, investigators said.

A possible motive for his alleged actions has not been disclosed. According to published reports, the defendant served in the U.S. Navy and was having behavioral difficulties, for which he reportedly sought help.

Classes at Mt. San Jacinto College resumed Thursday, with counselors available to students and staff affected by the incident.

“We're very thankful for the quick response by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and its swift apprehension of the suspect,” Mt. San Jacinto College Superintendent Roger Schultz said.

Photo: Riverside County Sheriff's Department

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