Teen arrested in Marion County over ‘school shooter’ Snapchat video with airsoft gun, deputies say

Video showed boy talking about being stereotyped

Airsoft gun part of 16-year-old's arrest in Marion County. (Marion County Sheriff's Office)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A 16-year-old boy was arrested Thursday after showing what deputies said appeared to be a gun in a Snapchat video, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

In the video, the Belleview High student talked about being stereotyped as a “school shooter” and displayed an apparent firearm after stating, “I mean, if that’s what everybody wants,” deputies said.

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After receiving calls from over 30 people about the video that evening, Sheriff Billy Woods said in a statement that deputies identified the boy with help from some callers and arrested him after making contact with him and his parents at their residence. News 6 will not identify or show the 16-year-old.

“We thank you, because when you saw something, you said something,” Woods said. “...To my young citizens, you need to know that the law is clear: If you make a social media post that people reasonably interpret as a threat to commit a mass shooting, or to kill or harm another person, you have broken the law. And if you break the law like this, you should expect to be arrested.”

The apparent firearm in the video was determined to be an airsoft gun, deputies said. The boy told deputies that he made the video as a skit and that he wasn’t serious.

He was placed under arrest and taken to the Marion County jail, later the Department of Juvenile Justice, for processing, according to a news release.

This is a developing story. Check back with News 6 for updates.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined ClickOrlando.com in April 2022.

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.