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BULLYING, GUN THREATS PROMPT ARREST OF TAYLOR MIDDLE-HIGH TEEN
Student, 17, Tells Classmates: 'It's not a joke, it's a promise'
Yet another Volusia County student faces a criminal charge after four students reported he made intimidating comments about guns to them Friday at Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson. Two teens reported the suspect said, "When you hear the gun shots, don't be coming my way."
He was charged with threatening to discharge a destructive device (Florida Statute 790.162), a felony.
Just after noon Friday, a school resource deputy (SRD) was alerted by the school's dean of discipline. The 17-year-old male student made the comments to the four when they were outside for lunch. One member of the group told the student to stop playing around and he responded: "It's not a joke, it's a promise."
Another witness recalled hearing the teen say, "Don't come running to me when the school gets shot up," implying that he was going to shoot up the school. The witness advised that the teen has made threats multiple times and initially his peers thought "it was a joke but it has gotten more serious, especially when he makes statements like 'you're lucky I don't have it today." A fourth student said the teen suspect has made threats before and has mentioned owning weapons such as guns and knives.
When the SRD asked the suspect about the statements, he stated that he had heard some of the students talking about him shooting up the school so he "played along."
The student then stated that it was just a joke.
After the SRD's investigation Friday, the teen was taken into custody and transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice. He is the 27th student charged with a felony by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office since the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland where 17 people were shot to death.
While the Sheriff's Office investigates every suspicious situation, Sheriff Mike Chitwood and school officials have zero tolerance for anyone inciting fear through threats at school or on social media. And, defendants or their families will be held responsible for the cost of investigating these cases -- estimated to be $1,032 per case.
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