14-year-old charged after threatening to shoot up Pinellas school, deputies say

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 14-year-old Countryside High School student facing charges this morning after Pinellas County deputies say he made a school shooting threat on social media.

Deputies say they received an anonymous complaint Sunday around 7 p.m. stating the 14-year-old posted photos of guns on his Instagram account around 5 p.m. with the statement, “Don’t go to school tomorrow.”

According to deputies, the student admitted to posting four images of guns on his social media account with the caption “Don’t come to school tomorrow THIS IS A JOKE. DO NOT REPORT (It’s not a joke).”

The teenager told deputies the post was intended as a joke and that he made the post to gain followers and to “get some laughs.” He also said he did not believe anyone would take the post seriously.

Deputies said the student did not own weapons nor have access to any.

The 14-year-old has been arrested and charged with written threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.

He was taken to the Pinellas County Juvenile Assessment Center without incident.

This case is not isolated. It’s part of a troubling trend 8 On Your Side is tracking across the entire Bay area.

In some quick research from this morning, we’ve found cases in nearly all Tampa Bay counties. Whether it’s a threat or students bringing weapons to school, 8 On Your Side has also reported on stories in Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Pasco, and Hernando counties since school started in August.

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