SEMINOLE – The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of a 12-year-old Seminole Middle School student for sending a threatening text message, a Monday media alert stated.
School Resource Unit deputies arrested the youth at approximately 12:15 p.m., Jan. 11. The Suncoast News and Tampa Bay Newspapers do not report the identities of minors involved in law enforcement cases.
According to Sheriff's Office reports, the student sent text messages at 10:41 a.m. threatening a school shooting. The texts were sent to a friend and read: "hi. It's me. Ima shoot up the school."
The person who received the message went to school administrators immediately and reported the text messages, reports state. School administrators and the school resource deputy made contact with the student and removed him from class.
Deputies reported that the student admitted to sending the text message as a joke to his friend using the messaging app "Text Now." The student was arrested and charged with making threatening communications or threats of mass shooting. Deputies transported the student to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center.
The Sheriff's Office reported that Seminole Middle and other area schools were already on high alert from a Snapchat message indicating a school shooting would take place Monday. Detectives are actively investigating that threat and, as of Monday afternoon, do not believe the two incidents are related.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office offers a Social Media resource to parents called, "A Toolbox for Parents." The toolbox provides resources to help parents in protecting their families while online and can be found at www.pcsoweb.com.