TAMPA — In separate incidents involving Hillsborough public schools, one student threatened on social media to shoot up his school and another brought a pellet gun to campus, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
The students, both 15, were arrested. Their identities were not released.
A Newsome High School student was charged with false report of use of firearm in a violent manner, the Sheriff's Office said. A Lennard High student was charged with possession of a weapon on school property and disturbing a school function.
In the first incident, investigators learned Wednesday about a Snapchat photo of a white male holding what appeared to be a semiautomatic rifle with a caption that read, "Don't come to school tomorrow."
Investigators were able to identify the individual as the Newsome student and went to his home. His parents showed detectives the Airsoft rifle pictured in the photo, which the Sheriff's Office described as "very realistic."
The teen told detectives the post was a joke among friends and he didn't intend to hurt anyone, the Sheriff's Office said.
On Thursday, a deputy assigned to Lennard High School was told that a student may have brought a weapon to campus, the Sheriff's Office said.
The deputy asked school administrators to stop all students from moving around on campus. The student was found with a loaded pellet gun in his backpack, according to the Sheriff's Office.
"We want to let students know if they see something they should say something even if it's just a pellet pistol," said Tanay Arja, spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County School District.
"I've heard one of the incidents was meant as a joke, but we take all incidents like this seriously."
Contact Jonathan Capriel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 225-3141 or. Follow @jonathancapriel.