13-year-old arrested in Marion County after making school shooting threat on Snapchat, deputies say

Eighth grade student shared photos of BB guns resembling real handguns, officials say

Marion County Sheriff's Office vehicle (file) (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A 13-year-old boy was arrested Thursday after making school shooting threats on Snapchat, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said the eighth grade student at Horizon Academy posted photos of what appeared to be firearms to a group chat with other students and captioned one, “Which one for Friday?”

[TRENDING: Central Florida’s 1st Jollibee announces opening date | Woman found shot to death inside crashed car in Orange County neighborhood | Should I wash my car with Dawn dish soap? | Become a News 6 Insider]

The 13-year-old also told the other students to show the photos to a teacher and wrote, “Tell her I’m gonna be there for her.”

Deputies went to the boy’s home, where the teen denied sending the photos, officials said. However, the boy’s mother confirmed the handguns in the photos were theirs and the handguns were BB guns that looked like real handguns, deputies said.

The boy then told deputies he sent those photos for “fun,” the sheriff’s office said.

“I want to remind everyone, the law is clear,” Sheriff Billy Woods said in a release. “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 should expect to be arrested. I will not tolerate my young citizens being fearful of going to school because you want to send threatening messages for ‘fun’ on Snapchat.”

News 6 is not naming the boy or showing his face as the weapons were determined to not be real handguns.

The 13-year-old faces a charge of electronic threat to conduct a mass shooting.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.