Public Information Office
STUDENT, 16, CHARGED WITH POSTING SCHOOL SHOOTING THREAT
A 16-year-old high school student was arrested Thursday after confessing to making one of multiple hoax school shooting threats that have disrupted school this week in Volusia County.
Austin Holt (DOB 1/27/2001) was identified, located and arrested Thursday afternoon after posting a message on Instagram that read: “guys sry i didn’t make it by 11 i gotchu tomorrow 4/21 school shooting tell everyone”
That message was the latest in a series of hoax threats to schools in Volusia County, including one written on a bathroom wall at University High School in Orange City, one sent through Crime Stoppers and directed at New Smyrna Beach Middle School and another written on a bathroom wall at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange.
The schools have seen an extra law enforcement presence as a precaution, and Volusia County sheriff’s deputies are continuing to investigate each case.
“It’s not cute, it’s not clever, and if we identify the individuals responsible for any of these threats, they aren’t going to like the consequences,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Thursday. “We’ve all had enough. To anyone contemplating risking his or her future by threatening a school and catching a felony, I’d suggest finding other pursuits.”
“Making threats against schools is a waste of resources and is emotionally upsetting for parents and students,” Superintendent of Schools Tom Russell said. “We will not tolerate these crimes being committed against our schools and will take strong disciplinary action for this behavior. We are very grateful to law enforcement for our continued partnership.”
Holt, a student at Atlantic High School in Port Orange, was charged with making a false report of a school shooting and subsequently placed on home detention pending an appearance before a judge Friday morning.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4589 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