Student arrested after social media threat at Mainland High School, police say
Fireworks found in stairwell after on-campus scare Thursday, police say
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Daytona Beach Police Department arrested a student authorities say made a shooting threat toward Mainland High School surfaced on social media. The arrest comes the day after police said a firecrackers scare on campus caused a lock down and sent students running in fear.
Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri Police said Friday that the teen who posted the threat is now in custody.
Capri said on Thursday evening, authorities learned about a social media post saying Thursday’s firecracker incident was a test for law enforcement and the real threat was happening Friday. The post began circulating on social media causing parents to keep their kids home from school, the chief said.
“This social media it’s good and it’s bad,” Capri said. “When it’s bad it’s bad.”
School officials said 1,000 out of 1,834 Mainland High School students were absent on Friday.
News 6 is not naming the teen arrested due to his age.
UPDATE: The person who posted the threat is now in custody. Our thanks to all of you who reached out. It's appreciated. We'll release more details soon. https://t.co/xEDNPcf66m— Daytona Beach Police (@DaytonaBchPD) February 14, 2020
The shooting threat came hours after fireworks prompted an on-campus scare Thursday, school officials said.
Three students are accused of setting off fireworks at Mainland High School, causing a gun scare that led to a lockdown on campus, according to Daytona Beach police.
Authorities said they were called to investigate around 12:30 p.m. Thursday after a report of shots fired on campus. The school was placed on lockdown until police determined that there was no shooter.
Capri said within three minutes police and deputies had determined there was no active shooter on campus.
Three 15-year-old teens were arrested. News 6 is not naming the suspects.
Officials from Daytona Beach said they found about four firecrackers in a stairwell and determined the firecrackers were the source of the shooting scare.
Capri said even though it was a false alarm, he had parents and students running up to officers “with fear in their eyes.”
“We had students that were traumatized, we had parents that were traumatized,” he said.
Students heading onto campus Friday described the chaos amidst the fireworks scare the day prior.
“Even though it was fireworks, it was really traumatic," student Ivey Vanoudenhove said, who described a teacher pulling him into her classroom and barricading the door.
Vanoudenhove said students were thinking about the shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school. Friday marks two years since 17 people were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
In the wake of the mass shooting, Florida lawmakers passed legislation known as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Safety Act that requires every school campus have a school resource officer. The law also put in place other safety and mental health requirements for Florida schools.
“We got to understand what those kids at Parkland went through. It was terrible,” Vanoudenhove said.
A nearby restaurant owner, Joseph Trapuzzano, said he offered students a place to wait while authorities investigated the incident.
“They were in a panic mode, some of them," Trapuzzano said. "The younger ones, obviously, were a little more concerned.”
The fireworks scare and social media threat happened in the same week threats were reported at other Central Florida school.
At Lake Brantley High School on Friday, a student was arrested after bringing a weapon on campus, Altamonte Police said. No one was injured.
In Marion County, Belleview Middle School officials said three unrelated online threats were investigated this week.
On Monday, a threat against Belleview Middle School and Belleview High School was posted on social media after an on-campus fight, according to authorities. A 14-year-old boy has since been arrested in connection with that threat.
Another threat was posted online Wednesday evening, but deputies believe in that case that the student’s account from which the threat originated was hacked. That case remains open.
Then on Wednesday, a Belleview Middle School student claimed he was dared to create a fake Snapchat account and post a threat about a teacher who yelled at him, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The teen was arrested on a charge of writing or sending a threat to kill and disturbing the peace.
After the week’s incidents, Capri reminded parents to talk to their students.
“To the young people out there, and whoever, don’t do this type of stupid stuff,” the chief said. “This puts the public, schools and faculty at risk, and law enforcement at risk.”
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