Social media scare over active shooter threat puts police on ale - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Man in gun photo not connected to shooting threat, wants name cleared

Posted: Jun 13, 2018 4:46 PM Updated:

The Guam Police Department alerted residents to a possible shooting threat. The caller phoned 911 and hung up before giving specifics. While the proper authorities were activated and residents were urged to stay guarded, one man found himself under fire. Specifically, his photo had been heavily circulated over social media alleging he was the caller who made Wednesday morning's threat. 

Today, he spoke with KUAM News, hoping to clear his name.  

It was a scare for the island, but no one panicked more than John Paul Cruz Salas' family. "My mom's calling me from the states; she's crying because she's worried about me," he shared. "Then I have my brother is calling me. My sister is calling me. My whole family. My wife, she came to my job site to make sure I'm okay. And I greatly appreciate that."  

Salas assures residents he is OK. More importantly, he says he's not the caller who phoned a shooting threat to 911 earlier today. Salas' photo had gone viral shortly after residents were alerted of the threat. A photo - depicting him holding a gun - he says was taken last month.

 

"I just wanted to clear my name," he continued, "so my friend was like, 'Let's make a video of you and we'll send it to Facebook and it's going to go everywhere!'"

The video that followed depicted him setting the record straight. Salas hoping it will go as viral as quickly as the first. In it, he says to camera, "Buenas yan Hafa Adai. Guahu si John Budoki Salas. The photo that's going around, that is me. But I have no intentions of doing anything to hurt anybody. It ain't me. There's nothing else I can say, but it's going around saying that I'm the shooter."

His follow-up video clearly showed him at his job site...that's how investigators found him this afternoon.

"I already spoke to the detectives. I cleared my name with them," Salas said, relieved. He says he's learned a valuable lesson from this experience, telling KUAM News that he had sent that photo to a group chat weeks ago but deleted it immediately after.

By then, someone else had saved and sent it.

"I don't need people being afraid of me. I really ain't that hard to get along with," he promised. "It is my fault as well. I can't say I'm innocent here. It's my fault for posting it on a groupchat that has 173 people on it, and I don't know majority of them, so that's my fault."

Residents are advised not to circulate unverified images to avoid further confusion.

GPD, meanwhile, is working with local and federal law enforcement to investigate the matter. They ask that residents report any suspicious activity - If You See Something, Say Something.

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