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Fla. teen charged in online threat against Heritage High School

Posted February 5, 2015

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— A 14-year-old Florida boy accused of posting a threatening message on Twitter that prompted a lockdown of Heritage High School in Wake Forest has been charged in the case, authorities said Thursday.

The boy, who lives in Crystal Beach, Fla., was arrested Thursday afternoon at his high school in Palm Harbor, according to a release from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. He was charged as a juvenile with written threats to kill or do bodily injury; electronic communication.

Heritage High School, along with nearby Heritage middle and elementary schools, were locked down for 90 minutes Wednesday morning after officials found the tweet, which was sent directly to the Wake County Public Schools System’s Twitter account. The message read: “I’m shooting up Heritage.”

Investigators traced the tweet to Florida and spoke with the boy’s mother. The lockdown was lifted after authorities determined no students were in danger.

School officials said Thursday the teen attended Heritage Middle School last year.

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  • tbagasaurusrex Feb 6, 2015

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    So the school is locked down at 8:30. Who are you to say the gunman wasn't making his way across the school parking lot at 8:31? Is there a rule in the school shooter's handbook that they must open fire as soon as school starts? Hint: the answer is 'no'.

  • Sean Creasy Feb 6, 2015
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    I understand that any kind of threat should be taken seriously it would not have taken much looking to see that this was a hoax and not a bonified threat. By the time this threat was even discovered (found at 8:30 AM as reported yesterday) it would have been too late anyway as the school had already been in session for almost an hour. I understand the need to protect our children from psychotics but do you really think just a locked door is going to do that? I feel that if armed guards are good enough for politicians then our children deserve the same at the least..

  • James Grimes Jr. Feb 6, 2015
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    I'm glad it was taken seriously. Schools can't take threats, no matter where they are from, lightly. Good for the school system and the police for their quick response.

  • Steve Austin Feb 6, 2015
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    @TORCHHAPPYSEAN He is a former student, he is probably suffering from some sort of mental problem as he thought it was funny to say he was going to shoot up a school. It's good they were able to locate him before he took a bus to NC to carry out his threat.

  • Sean Creasy Feb 6, 2015
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    I find it pretty disturbing that a 14 yo that was in FORIDA could cause such a panic among adults just by posting a "tweet" here in NC. With all of those "highly educated" people in charge you think someone would have noticed that lil tidbit of info before pushing the panic button... Talk about overreacting.... Furthermore if this had been a real threat the damage would have already been done by the time the infamous "tweet" was found....

  • Steve Austin Feb 6, 2015
    user avatar

    Here is the face of the would-be-shooter: http://www.newsobserver.com/2015/02/05/4533392/florida-authorities-arrest-teen.html

  • TB from WF Feb 5, 2015

    He, or his parents, should have to pay for the costs incurred by everyone here. Since he is under age, his parents are responsible for his actions.

  • reclaimer78 Feb 5, 2015

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    If it ended up being a credible threat, I'm quite sure you would quickly have left that comfort zone.

  • trustno1 Feb 5, 2015

    Now make sure he does time or at least that he receives a harsh punishment. A message needs to be sent that this activity will not be tolerated. Total waste of public safety time and resources as well as the stress it has caused those it affected. If you are going to spend the time and effort having him arrested don't wuss out.

  • housemanagercary Feb 5, 2015

    That 'boy' is going to end up in prison by 18 if he doesn't change his ways.

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