TARPON SPRINGS ― A 12-year-old boy was arrested at Tarpon Springs Middle School on Thursday after he talked about a plan to bring a semi-automatic rifle to school and shoot students, police say. But the child said he was joking.
Officers responded to the school after students told staffers they had overheard the seventh grader discuss a list of five student he wanted to shoot.
After further investigation, officers found the boy had told others he had a “plan” to commit the shooting at the school: He would enter the school at a specific location with an AR-15 rifle, police said, then go to his classroom and the cafeteria to shoot the students on his list.
The boy, whose name was not released, told officers he was not serious and that the list was a “joke." Officers determined that he did not have access to any firearms.
The 12-year-old was arrested on a charge of making a false report concerning the use of a firearm in a violent manner and taken to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center.