Orlando police use Risk Protection Order to take away gun from UCF student
Student's attorney said the filing is an abuse of power
Comments posted online have resulted in the city of Orlando filing a petition for a Risk Protection Order under the new school safety law signed by Gov. Scott two weeks ago.
Court documents show police took possession of a handgun taken from the home.
According to the petition, a 21-year-old UCF student told them that he idolized mass shooters, including Stephen Paddock and Nikolas Cruz.
The student's attorney told News 6 that the filing is an abuse of power.
Detectives wrote that their investigation began on Feb. 10, 2018, after receiving a tip about comments posted on the forum website Reddit. Under a topic of "You guys are too weak to be a school shooter" investigators said the username TheRealUCFChris commented "Maybe for now but not forever."
Court documents also show the same username commented on an article about the autopsy of the Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, "R.I.P. my hero."
A day after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, documents show investigators believe the same user commented "Cruz is my hero!"
The petition later states that the student had thoughts about committing a mass shooting at both Lake Nona High School and Odyssey Middle School in Orlando. Investigators said the 21-year-old claimed he was bullied at both schools. The documents do not show that the student had any detailed plans to carry out an attack.
The UCF student was Baker Acted following the interview with police.
UCF police, alongside Orlando police and the FBI showed up to the student's home, where they took possession of his father's handgun.
His attorney Kendra Parris told News 6 that her client wasn't being serious online. Parris said that her client is shy, so he developed an alter ego online, but would never commit the acts in real life.
"He expresses over and over again that he apologized for them. He was in a forum where the individuals sort of feed off each other. They act like trolls. They act like jerks," said Parris.
Parris also said that she feels her client is being unfairly targeted and should not be labeled as mentally ill after the city of Orlando filed the petition to obtain the firearms from the home. She said that her client was nervous and answering hypothetical questions, and had never purchased a weapon.
Investigators also said the student's family willingly handed over the firearm, before the petition was signed be a judge.
"It's something that sounds good in theory doesn't it? But the potential for abuse is clear in this situation," said Parris.
The 21-year-old has not been charged with a crime and has not been arrested.