JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville teenager has been arrested after police said he threatened to shoot up a daycare center in San Marco. Investigators said he posted the threat on a gaming chatroom using his Xbox.
The 15-year-old was arrested at his family’s apartment on the Northside. We are not releasing his name – because of his age.
A police department in San Marcos, Texas, was the first to investigate the online threat. When the threat was posted -- it prompted law enforcement agencies across the country with a community named San Marco in their jurisdiction to be put on alert. The threat did not specifically name any particular day care in San Marco.
When police in Texas learned the threat came from an IP address in Jacksonville, they alerted the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. Investigators traced the IP address to an apartment inside the Mission Pointe apartment complex on Biscayne Boulevard.
Police said the teen suspect and his two younger siblings were at home when they arrived. Officers contacted the teen’s mother and stayed there until she arrived. The mother gave the officers consent to search the apartment.
Officers said they found an Xbox and laptop -- then later determined the 15-year-old may have used them to post the threats online. The teen’s mother told police she had no idea her son could use his gaming system to communicate on social media.
Parents of small children tell News4JAX that hearing things like this is terrifying.
“It’s absolutely devastating,” Cody Brutout, a parent of a small child, said. “I mean to hear someone was thinking about doing something like that and planning an assault on children is absolutely devastating. You look around at what’s going around the nation right now most recently in Texas. This is absolutely heartbreaking.”