INTERLACHEN, Fla. - A 14-year-old boy who deputies said threatened to shoot people at Interlachen High School has been arrested, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
Fellow students told their parents about the threats, which were posted Wednesday to social media, and the parents called school authorities and the Sheriff's Office, deputies said.
Students told News4Jax on Thursday that Interlachen is a high school where everyone knows everyone, so word about threats on social media spread pretty quickly.
Deputies said they were glad students felt comfortable telling their parents about the threats, which were made in a back-and-forth conversation on social media between students.
The boy was interviewed and arrested on a charge of writing threats to kill or do bodily injury, which is a second-degree felony, deputies said.
“The safety of our children is our highest priority," Sheriff Gator DeLoach said in a prepared statement. "We have, and we will continue, to take threats of this nature very seriously. Everyone, including this young man, must understand the consequences of misusing social media in this way."
The Sheriff's Office did not release the boy's name or his grade. A spokesman said the boy was booked, charged and released to his parents.
A fellow student who actually saw the 14-year-old taken away in handcuffs this afternoon said he never expected him to threaten to shoot people at school.
"He’s usually one of the quiet ones that minds his own business," said the freshman, who asked not to be named. "I didn’t know what to think, because I grew up with the kid.”
The student said the social media threats and arrest were all anyone was talking about Thursday.
“(I'm) just hoping he doesn’t make anymore stupid choices and neither does anyone else that hears about it," the student said.
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith, a former school resource officer, said deputies will look into whether student had the means to go through with the threat.
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