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Seminole boy, 14, arrested for threat against school, detectives say

The teen sent texts naming two classmates and a faculty member as targets, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. He did not have access to guns, however.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [TMCCARTY | times staff]
Published Oct. 16
Updated Oct. 16

SEMINOLE ― A 14-year-old boy is accused of sending text messages to a classmate threatening to shoot up his former school, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

The teen, who the Tampa Bay Times is not naming because of his age, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of making written threats to kill or do bodily injury. The 14-year-old told deputies he made the threats because he was “mad.” But the Sheriff’s Office determined he did not have access to firearms.

The threats were made toward LiFT Academy at 13400 Park Blvd. N. The teen specifically named two classmates and a faculty member, deputies said.

He got into a fight with another student the week before and his parents withdrew him from the school in lieu of expulsion, according to the Sheriff’s Office. After he withdrew, deputies said, the boy on Tuesday sent text messages to a former classmate saying, “I’m finna shoot that school up" and naming the students and faculty member.

A parent of the student the teen sent the text to saw the messages and reported them to school officials, who notified the Sheriff’s Office. The school was placed on lockdown until deputies could find the teen.

Deputies searched the teen’s home near Seminole and determined that he had no access to any guns. He was booked Wednesday into the the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center.

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