Officials: More than 1,000 students absent after mass shooting threat at Marion County schools

Ninth-grader arrested after posting threat to social media

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A 14-year-old is being held in the Marion County Jail Wednesday without bond after investigators say he threatened a mass shooting, targeting two schools via social media.

According to the arrest report, the ninth-grade student posted the threat to Snapchat and indicated that both Belleview Middle and High Schools were targets.

Due to concerns over the threat, Belleview High School had 470 absences Tuesday and 604 middle school students were absent. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office increased patrols on campus as a result of the threat, district officials said.

Investigators say the student admitted to deputies he posted the threat and was arrested on Tuesday. Deputies said they conducted a search of the student’s home to make sure he did not have access to weapons.

Records show he is being held at the Marion County Jail on charges of sending a written threat to kill, do bodily injury or conduct a mass shooting.

Deputies emphasize that under Florida law, anyone making a written threat towards a school, whether hand-written or electronically, commits a felony. Marion County Public Schools and MCSO say they take every threat seriously and have taken a zero-tolerance stance for these types of threats.

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