Boy found drunk wanted to be next school shooter, Polk deputies say

Photos of Nikolas Cruz, Columbine High found on PlayStation, officials say

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DAVENPORT, Fla. – A 13-year-old boy found "passed out drunk" on a sidewalk led authorities to uncover a shooting threat against the boy's Osceola County school and photos of the accused Parkland school shooter on the boy's device.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said the boy, whose name is not being released by News 6 because of his age, was found passed out and drunk early Saturday in Davenport. The boy was taken into custody under the Baker Act and transported to Heart of Florida Hospital, where deputies interviewed him, officials said. 

The boy said he drank an entire bottle of liquor from his parents' liquor cabinet and took a bunch of "happy pills," according to deputies.

During a search of the boy's PlayStation, detectives said they found images of the Nikolas Cruz, the accused Parkland shooter, and a picture of the Columbine High School shooting.

During an investigation and interviews with other teens, detectives said they also earned that the boy threatened to take a knife to school and kill a teen who attends the same Osceola County school.

Deputies said the boy also made the following statements:

  • He wanted to die and see God; 
  • He wanted to shoot up Westside K-8 School (in Osceola County, where he attended) because he wanted to be the next school shooter; 
  • He wanted to kill a lot of kids;
  • He wanted to kill different kids because they "snitched" on him and got him expelled from Westside K-8;
  • He buried a handgun in his neighbor's backyard because he didn't want his mother to know he had one (no gun was found).

The teen was arrested on charges of aggravated stalking, a felony.

"This teen is clearly in trouble. He's had an affidavit filed in Osceola County for threatening to kill students, and he's been Baker Acted by both OSCO and PCSO," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "We hope he receives the treatment he needs to deal with his desires to hurt himself and others, but we have also placed him under arrest for felony aggravated stalking. We cannot allow anyone of any age to get away with criminal threats to kill, especially when they are aimed towards schoolchildren."

Detectives said the boy was expelled from Westside K-8 School in Osceola County in February for making similar statements. He was also taken in for an evaluation under the Baker Act at that time, officials said.

The boy’s lawyer, Sara Jones, said there’s more to the story. 

"This kid apparently had been bullying him for quite sometime and he (was) tired of being bullied and he did make a statement in that case, which I can’t disclosed the content of that statement," Jones said.

Jones said a one-time statement does not match up with an aggravated stalking charge.

"He never said that he’s going to do anything like that. He’s basically rambling," Jones said. 

Prosecutors said there should also be a gun charge after the boy allegedly told deputies he buried a handgun in his neighbor’s backyard. Deputies said no gun was found. 

Osceola County Schools sent parents a letter Tuesday about the apparent threat, which read: 

"Hello parents,

"It has come to our attention that a news report may run later today highlighting a former student that may have made some threats against Westside K-8 and another district school. The student mentioned in the news report was recommended for expulsion last month for separate offense and is no longer a student at Westside K-8.

"Please understand that we take the safety and security of our students and staff at Westside K-8 very seriously and are in constant communication with law enforcement regarding any threat made to our school.  We will maintain a law enforcement presence at our school to ensure the safety of our students and staff. We will continue to remain vigilant and follow all safety precautions outlined in district safety protocols. We ask that you also remain vigilant and let us know of anything suspicious or that may need our attention. Thank you all."

About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.