TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — An East Lake High School student suspected of making a fake shooting and bomb threat against the Tarpon Springs school has been arrested, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said the 15-year-old had sent a message to another student about a shooting and “bomb detonation” that would take place at the school. The recipient shared a screen grab of the threat on Snapchat to alert other students, and someone called 911.
When deputies interviewed the teen, he admitted to sending the message, but said it was a joke. Authorities said he did not have access to any firearms or explosives, and they don’t believe there is any threat to the school.
The teen was arrested on a charge of written threats to kill or conduct a mass shooting.
He was taken into custody and transported to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center (PJAC).
“School safety is our number one concern,” said Maj. Frank Ruggiero of the Tarpon Springs Police Department. “We take every threat very seriously. We investigate every threat to the fullest extent.”
Major Ruggiero said if you see something – say something.
“There are not many officers as there are students and parents, so if parents see something that they think is the least bit suspicious please call us,” he said. “Same thing with students and the schools, if you’re afraid of being identified you could still call us anonymously.”
Pinellas County also launched The #ItsNoJoke awareness campaign.