Comment About Guns at River Springs Middle Prompts Latest Felony Arrest
A 15-year-old middle school student was charged Wednesday night with making a school threat – becoming the 19th student charged by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in cases of school threats since the Feb. 14 shootings in Parkland.
The latest defendant was arrested Wednesday evening at home. Earlier Wednesday at school, the seventh-grader at River Springs Middle School was overheard by another student to say: “It would be funny to shoot up the school.” The other boy responded, “I’m down,” and they began laughing. The witness then reported the incident to school staff members. In addition, she posted a warning on Instagram warning students about a possible school shooting, based on the comment she heard.
Later Wednesday, a sheriff’s deputy interviewed the 15-year-old and his mother at their home about the incident and after investigating, he charged the teen with making a threat to discharge a destructive device, (Florida Statute 790.162), a felony. The teen was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Despite repeated warnings, 19 students have been arrested for making school threats since the school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood and the Sheriff’s Office continue to have zero tolerance for threats and jokes about shootings, bombings and other acts of violence. Anyone who continues to make such statements will face criminal charges. And, defendants or their families will be held responsible for the cost of the Sheriff’s Office’s response to their cases.
Parents, please help us keep your children and the community safe by discouraging this behavior. We encourage all parents to talk to their children about the seriousness of making false reports at school or on social media.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151