The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday arrested an 18-year-old man accused of making an online threat by suggesting he was armed and headed to “the nearest school.”
Corey Anderson was arrested at a residence in Lutz and charged with threatening to “conduct a mass shooting or act of terrorism, the Sheriff’s Office said.
After a tip, detectives found that Anderson had posted images of himself with what appeared to be a handgun, a rifle and a tactical-style vest, deputies said. The caption said, “Hey Siri, directions to the nearest school.”
The items appearing to be weapons were later discovered to be airsoft guns, deputies said.
The threat came as the nation continued to mourn the May 24 deaths of 19 students and two teachers at the hands of an 18-year-old gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. President Biden and first lady Jill Biden traveled to the town on Sunday to comfort residents and pay respects at a memorial for the victims.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office described Anderson’s action as a “school-based threat” in a news release Sunday.
“This type of threat is unacceptable. This man intentionally instilled fear into our community as a sick joke, but be warned, this is no laughing matter,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in the release. “Protecting students is our greatest priority. We take school threats very seriously, if you see something suspicious, please contact us immediately.”