Office of Media Relations & Public Affairs
TEEN, 15, FACES FELONY FOR MAKING FALSE REPORT. SCHOOL THREAT
A 15-year-old male student at Southwestern Middle School faces a felony charge after he was heard saying in class, “They are going to shoot up the school,” and then walked around his classroom pretending to hold a firearm and shoot fellow students. He is the 26th student charged by Volusia County sheriff’s deputies for making school threats since the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland.
The incident occurred Thursday about 1:30 p.m. The student had returned to class after using the restroom. When he entered class, his teacher and students heard his comment and saw him imitating using a weapon to shoot classmates. The teacher immediately told the student to leave class and go to the assistant principal’s office. Instead, the student left the school, jumped over a fence and was last seen walking northbound on Stone Street.
A sheriff’s deputy was called to the school where he interviewed the teacher, then went to the student’s home and spoke to his mother, who said he was not home. The student was arrested Thursday about 5:45 p.m. at 1706 S. Woodland Blvd. He is being charged with making a false report of a bomb/arson/weapon of mass destruction (Florida Statute 790.164), a felony.
Sheriff Mike Chitwood and school officials have zero tolerance for anyone inciting fear by making threats or jokes about shootings, bombings and other acts of violence at school or on social media. However, students have continued to make school threats since 17 people were killed at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Besides facing criminal charges, defendants or their families are being held responsible for paying the cost of the Sheriff’s Office’s response to their cases – that cost is estimated to be $1,032 per case.
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