'It's not a joke, it's a promise:' Volusia student accused of making gun threat

17-year-old boy charged with threatening to discharge destructive device


VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A 17-year-old boy is facing a felony charge after classmates reported he made comments implying he would shoot up their school, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the investigation began Friday when Taylor Middle-High School's dean of discipline alerted the school resource deputy about the remarks the student made.

The boy reportedly told classmates, "When you hear the gunshots, don't be coming my way," and, "It's not a joke, it's a promise," according to a news release.

Witnesses said the teen had made similar statement in the past and he seemed to be joking, but lately he has gotten more serious, especially when he said, "You're lucky I don't have it today," an apparent reference to guns and knives he claimed to own, the report said.

When the school resource deputy asked the student about the statements, the boy claimed that he knew his classmates had talked about him shooting up the school so he "played along," according to authorities.

The boy was arrested on a charge of threatening to discharge a destructive device, which is a felony.

Deputies said the arrest marks the 27th of its kind since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead.

"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," officials said.

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