Man being evaluated after threatening to stab students at Tampa elementary school, deputies say

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Last updated at 9:33 a.m.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a threatening statement referencing a Tampa elementary school, but say there is currently no safety threat.

According to deputies, a 22-year-old Tampa man told his roommate Monday morning that he intended to get inside Bellamy Elementary School.

The school is named for Francis Bellamy, who wrote the pledge of allegiance in 1882 and lived in Tampa for seven years. Red, white and blue colors adorn the sign out front and a retaining wall near the sidewalk. The school itself is painted with stars and stripes.

Crystal Clark, the chief communications officer for the sheriff’s office, says the man mentioned stabbing students and staff at the Wilsky Boulevard school using a kitchen knife from his home.

“He disliked the school because the exterior of the building is painted like an American flag and he has negative views of patriotism towards the United States,” Clark said in a statement.

Deputies responded to the man’s home to investigate and did not find any firearms inside. The sheriff’s office says the man has been diagnosed with several mental illnesses in the past.

He was taken in for a medical evaluation. WFLA is not naming the 22-year-old because he has not been charged at this point.

“An investigation is ongoing and charges could follow,” Clark said. “However, there is currently no safety threat for students, parents or staff of Bellamy Elementary.”

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