South Florida

A Florida mom was upset over school rezoning. She threatened to shoot up the school

Miranda Perez
Miranda Perez Palm Beach County Corrections

A Palm Beach County mother was arrested Sunday afternoon and charged with intimidation after allegedly threatening a mass shooting at her children’s new school, where they were slated to go after a school boundary change, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office records.

Miranda Perez, 28, of Lake Worth, was arrested after making the threats about Barton Elementary, 1700 Barton Road, Lake Worth. Barton started classes Monday.

The allusions to violent behavior first began while Perez was video chatting on Facebook Messenger with a man Sunday morning, according to her arrest report. During their conversation, Perez referenced Nikolas Cruz, who confessed to killing 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last year. She also mentioned wanting to friend Zachary Cruz, Nikolas’ younger brother, because “she likes violent things.”

After the man hung up, he told deputies he received a Facebook message from Perez: “I’m thinking of doing a school shooting at Barton” followed by “Yep. It’s there [sic] fault.” The man, whom police identified as Andrew Broome, contacted the sheriff’s office.

Perez admitted to sheriff’s deputies that she sent the messages as well as contemplated the shooting but said she would never actually do it, according to the arrest report. Court records show she is being held at a behavioral treatment center.

Last spring, Palm Beach County’s School Board adopted a resolution that shuffled attendance boundaries to help alleviate overcrowding at various schools. A comparison of the school board’s records with Perez’s Lake Worth address shows that she was one of the many parents affected by this change. The resolution forced approximately 390 students to change schools.

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C. Isaiah Smalls II is a reporter covering breaking and trending news for the Miami Herald. Previously, he worked for ESPN’s The Undefeated as part of their inaugural class of Rhoden Fellows. He is a graduate of both Columbia University and Morehouse College.