DELTONA, FL – A Galaxy Middle School seventh-grader was arrested Tuesday morning after sending messages on the social media platform Snapchat threatening to commit a shooting at the Deltona school.
Deputies began investigating Monday after school officials reported a series of rumors about threats that started last week. The initial investigation did not identify a source of any threats. On Tuesday, the school administration brought forward screenshots of a Snapchat thread in which the 13 year old student made multiple threats to bring a gun to school and shoot people.
One message stated: “It happening tomorrow and Friday for dose you survive. I’m not (expletive) around anymore.” Another message stated: “After that ima give the gun to the other kid let him finish the job” and “Js watch yuh back tomorrow.” At the end of the chat, the student stated: “That my last day there tomorrow.”
The student was interviewed by sheriff’s deputies and the principal. When asked why he sent threatening messages to shoot kids and the school, he stated: “It was just a joke.”
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Numerous students were absent from school because of the threats.
The student was charged with written threat to kill or injure (Florida Statute 836.10) and making a false report of a bomb or explosive weapon of mass destruction (FS 790.163), both felonies. He was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) where he was held in secure detention.
“Call it a joke if you want, but if you threaten to shoot up your school, then you’re going to face the consequences,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said following the arrest. “I’m imploring all parents to get this point across to their kids. Otherwise law enforcement will be teaching the lesson instead.”
The boy’s full name was included in the report, however, it is being redacted by The Published Reporter editors due to his age.