3 Florida middle school students arrested over Snapchat threats, police say

U.S. and World

Lights and sirens are seen atop a patrol vehicle in this file photo. (Credit: Getty Images)

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Three middle school students have been charged after police in Pembroke Pines, Florida, said they made threats on Snapchat against their school Sunday afternoon.

The three students, who attend Silver Trail Middle School, are being charged with a second-degree felony for making a written threat to do bodily harm or commit an act of terrorism, police said Monday. One of the students is also charged with conspiracy to commit a criminal offense.

The students – two 12-year-old boys and a 12-year-old girl – were charged after police were notified by the school of a Snapchat conversation between them that contained threatening messages concerning the school, officials said.

“This situation serves as a reminder – when it comes to safety, there is no joking around,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie L. Cartwright. “Any statement that may be interpreted as a threat including bomb threats made via phone, text, social media post or through other means will be acted on and there will be consequences, such being arrested, going to trial, and/or expulsion. We urge parents and guardians to discuss this with their children and ensure they understand how choosing to make a threat could impact their own lives.” 

Police said Monday the investigation was still active.

‘Next Parkland massacre’ thwarted, police say

In a separate incident last week, deputies arrested two teens for conspiracy to commit a mass shooting at Harns Marsh Middle School in Lehigh Acres, which lies just east of Fort Myers.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said they intervened after getting a tip from a Harns Marsh Middle School student that an eighth grader might have a gun in his backpack. The boy was taken out of the class and searched by school security. Marceno said he didn’t have a gun but did have a map of the school showing where the interior surveillance cameras were.

“During the investigation our detectives identified two students involved in a plot to carry out a school shooting,” Marceno said, adding that the two boys, ages 13 and 14, had expressed interest in the Columbine school shooting.

“This could have been the next Parkland massacre, but we stopped them in the planning stages,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.

Marceno said both boys were trying to learn how to make pipe bombs and buy firearms over the black market. A search of their homes revealed numerous knives and guns, Marceno said, adding that deputies knew them well after responding to their addresses over 80 times in the past.

Both boys now face felony charges.

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