UPDATE 11:00 A.M. OCTOBER 27:
A 12-year-old student at Heritage Middle School in Deltona was arrested Tuesday after he told another student he was going to “shoot up the school.”
The student told Volusia sheriff’s deputies and the school principal that he got angry during gym class when other students made him get off an exercise machine he was using. The student said he walked over to his friend and told him: “This is why I want to shoot up the school.”
When deputies asked why he made that statement, he stated he didn’t mean anything by it and said “it was a joke.”
However, when deputies contacted the friend and his mother about the incident, the student said in an interview that child who was arrested stated: “I’m gonna shoot up the school. I am not kidding, and you are gonna be the first.” The friend stated he reported the incident to his teachers when he changed classes.
He was arrested for making a threat to discharge a destructive device (Florida Statute 790.62), a felony. He was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in Daytona Beach.
The child was the second middle school student arrested Tuesday for making a school threat. On Tuesday morning, a seventh-grader at Galaxy Middle School in Deltona was arrested for making several threats on the social media platform Snapchat to shoot up his school. He also was transported to DJJ.
ORIGINAL POST BELOW:
A Galaxy Middle School seventh-grader was arrested Tuesday morning after sending messages on the social media platform Snapchat threatening to commit a shooting at the Deltona school.
Deputies began investigating Monday after school officials reported a series of rumors about threats that started last week.
The initial investigation did not identify a source of any threats. On Tuesday, the school administration brought forward screenshots of a Snapchat thread in which the 13-year-old student made multiple threats to bring a gun to school and shoot people.
One message stated: “It happening tomorrow and Friday for dose you survive. I’m not (expletive) around anymore.” Another message stated: “After that ima give the gun to the other kid let him finish the job” and “Js watch yuh back tomorrow.” At the end of the chat, the student stated: “That my last day there tomorrow.”
The student was interviewed by sheriff’s deputies and the principal. When asked why he sent threatening messages to shoot kids and the school, he stated: “It was just a joke.”
Numerous students were absent from school because of the threats.
The student was charged with written threat to kill or injure (Florida Statute 836.10) and making a false report of a bomb or explosive weapon of mass destruction (FS 790.163), both felonies. He was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) where he was held in secure detention.
“Call it a joke if you want, but if you threaten to shoot up your school, then you’re going to face the consequences,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said following the arrest. “I’m imploring all parents to get this point across to their kids. Otherwise law enforcement will be teaching the lesson instead.”
– Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Laura Williams