Florida Boy Threatens Mass Shooting at His School to 'Get Some Laughs,' Gets Arrested on Terrorism Charges

A teenage boy has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offenses after threatening to carry out a mass shooting at his school in Florida.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office arrested the 14-year-old student at Countryside High School in Clearwater after threats were posted onto social media on Sunday, November 3.

Deputies were made aware of a post on Instagram featuring a picture of four firearms along with the caption: "Don't come to school tomorrow...THIS IS A JOKE. DO NOT REPORT (It's not a joke)."

The photo was posted on the 14-year-old's Instagram account, "monkeywitharifle."

He told deputies that he uploaded the photo as a joke in order to gain followers and to "get some laughs." He said he did not believe that anyone would take the threat seriously.

Police later confirmed that the boy did not own any of the weapons seen in the photo, nor did he have access to any firearms.

The 14-year-old was arrested at approximately 7:54 p.m. on November 3. He was later charged with written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.

"As always, we encourage the public to report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately and we will diligently investigate all reported information," a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said.

The investigation continues.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a group which tracks firearm incidents involving schools, there have been 131 homicides and assaults with a gun that took place on the grounds of elementary, middle, and high schools since 2013.

These shootings resulted in 74 deaths and 174 non-fatal gunshot injuries. At least 130 of the victims since 2013 were students at the time. The data does not include the 26 victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.

Last month, several schools in an Arizona district closed for the day following a spate of threats which were posted online.

The Sahuarita Unified School District (SUSD) announced that classes would be canceled on October 1 for Sahuarita High School, Sahuarita Middle School, Walden Grove High School, and Anza Trail School out of an "abundance of caution" after numerous threats were made online the space of 24 hours.

Prior to the announcement of the closures, detectives from the Sahuarita Police Department said they could not find a "credible and actionable threat."

"We continue to work and share information with SUSD and other law enforcement agencies, the force added in a statement. "Information has been officially requested from different Social Media companies. Some of the information has been received and we will continue to work with these companies."

A teenage boy was later arrested on suspicion of making terrorist threats, interference/disruption of an educational institution and use of electronic device to threaten, according to Sahuarita Police Department. The schools reopened as normal on October 2.

school shooting
The student at at Countryside High School in Clearwater, Florida, allegedly posted the threat to his Instagram account. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office