In a postcard to Santa, a Wesley Chapel student threatened to shoot up his school, deputies say

The Wiregrass Ranch High School ninth-grader was arrested Monday. The charge comes a week after another student was accused of threatening shootings at the school.
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Published May 22
Updated May 24

WESLEY CHAPEL — In a postcard to Santa dropped in a Macy’s letter box, a ninth-grade boy at Wiregrass Ranch High threatened to shoot up the school, deputies said.

The boy, 15, from Wesley Chapel, was arrested Monday on a felony charge of written threats to kill or do bodily harm, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

The Tampa Bay Times is withholding his name because of his age. He was taken to a juvenile detention center.

Investigators first interviewed a female student whose name was signed to the postcard but ruled her out as a suspect, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kevin Doll. Their investigation led to the boy because his fingerprints, on file from a previous misdemeanor arrest, were found on the postcard, Doll said.

The postcard was dropped off Nov. 4 at the Macy’s in the Shops at Wiregrass, but the boy told deputies he didn’t write it and was never in the store, the report said.

This is the second arrest in two weeks involving threats to carry out shootings at Wiregrass Ranch High.

Earlier, a teacher and an assistant principal said they heard a 17-year-old student say he was going shoot up the campus and that he “hated this school and everybody in it,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The student later told deputies he did not have access to firearms and would not hurt anyone at the school, according to an arrest report.

The student faces a charge of a false report use of firearms.

The boy was released to his parents after his arrest.

Contact Paige Fry at pfry@tampabay.com. Follow her on Twitter at @paigexfry.

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