A 10-year-old Florida boy is under arrest for allegedly threatening via text message to carry out a mass shooting, Lee County police said Sunday.
The boy was arrested on Saturday and charged with uttering a written threat to carry out a mass shooting after the Patriot Elementary School fifth grader sent a threatening text message, the county sheriff’s office said. Lee.
“This student’s behavior is sickening, especially after the recent tragedy in Uvalde, Texas,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said in a statement. “Making sure our children are safe is paramount. We will have law and order in our schools! My team didn’t hesitate for a second…NOT A SECOND, to investigate this threat.
The School Threat Team immediately verified the allegation and referred it to the Youth Services Criminal Investigation Division, the sheriff’s office said. Detectives interviewed the child, determined there was probable cause and made the arrest, authorities said.
Police and others involved in shootings in Buffalo, NY, and Uvalde, Texas, this month have been criticized for ignoring warning signs before suspected shooters shot dead 10 respectively and 21 people. Similarly, authorities in Michigan have been accused of not doing enough to prevent a shooting last December at Oxford High School in which a 15-year-old allegedly shot four students and injured seven others.
“Right now is not the time to act like a petty criminal,” Marceno said. “It’s not funny. This kid made a fake threat, and now he’s facing real consequences.