Teen charged with threatening to 'shoot up' West Melbourne school
WEST MELBOURNE, Fla. – A 15-year-old former student was arrested Wednesday after classmates at a West Melbourne school spotted a social media message involving threats to ‘shoot up’ the campus, authorities reported.
The teen, who is not being named by FLORIDA TODAY because of his age, was charged with making a false report concerning the use of firearms in a violent manner after West Melbourne police were contacted about the post.
Police credited the students at Central Middle School with quickly notifying police about the threat.
“This is a prime example of the message we’re trying to get out to the public. These kids did exactly what we wanted them to, if you see something, say something,” Lt. Richard Cordeau, spokesperson for the West Melbourne Police Department. Police said the teen made a threat to shoot up Central Middle School with a gun. He was turned over to Juvenile Detention Center authorities and is expected to go before a juvenile court judge Thursday.
Wednesday’s arrest was the latest incident involving unfounded threats made against a number of Space Coast schools – and schools across the state - in the wake of the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.
A gunman shot and killed 17 people – including 14 students – during a shooting spree at that Broward County campus.
In the latest incident, West Melbourne officers arrested the teen at the South Area Alternative Learning Center in Melbourne where he is currently enrolled, Cordeau said.
“He did not have any weapons on him when we took him into custody,” Cordeau added.
An investigation is ongoing into whether the teen had access to any weapons or why the threat was issued.
Contact Gallop at 321-242-3642, firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter at @JDGallop
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