HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — Deputies arrested a Hernando County student for allegedly posting a mass shooting threat on Snapchat.
The Hernando County Sheriff's Office received a call on August 31 from FBI Violent Crimes about an online threat.
The FBI had received information from Snapchat that someone posted a picture making threats to Central High School in Hernando County.
The user was identified as a 16-year-old who attends Springstead High School.
The picture posted to Snapchat contained an assault type rifle lying on a bed, along with the caption "Yo bruh bouta run it up at central." The photo was posted to Snapchat during the previous (school) week.
Deputies checked out the campus on Saturday to check for suspicious activity, but the campus was secured and nothing out of the ordinary was noted.
Deputies made contact with the student at his home, where he admitted to posting the photo message. He told deputies he thought it would be funny due to the hoax bomb threats last year and the hoax shooting threats this year.
Deputies determined the "assault type rifle" used in the photo was an airsoft gun. The gun was collected and placed into evidence. Deputies checked the residence for any additional weapons, yielding negative results.
"Every threat made on a school, no matter what media it comes through, is taken as actual," Sheriff Al Nienhuis said. "It takes a tremendous amount of resources to react to each of these threats and to investigate the source of the threat. It is critically important for parents to stress the consequences of making such school threats or inappropriate comments regarding such matters in any and all school settings. Additionally, reporting such threats through normal channels (i.e. talking to parent, teacher, staff, SRO, calling the Sheriff's Office) will allow these issues to be investigated and resolved before the rumor mill generates exaggerated and/or unnecessary alarm amongst students, parents and concerned citizens."
The student was charged with written threats to kill/injure.