For the fourth time in 11 days, Pembroke Pines police arrested a minor on felony charges after they felt he made a threat against his school.
Police say the 13-year-old boy said, “I know why people shoot up schools. I wish I could do it right now,” during a class at Silver Trail Middle School.
The teacher and his classmates heard the threat, police said.
“A threat is not a joke and a joke is not a threat,” said Capt. Al Xiques in a public service video shared by the department. “The safety of our schools is no laughing matter.”
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The arrest came the same day the department said it arrested another minor over a perceived threat.
In that case, a 14-year-old student at Franklin Academy downloaded a photo that showed another boy holding an Airsoft rifle while wearing protective equipment. This happened without the permission of the second boy, cops say.
The original caption under that photo in a private chat group was, “See you Monday.” The suspect, police say, added “Gn Franklin” (translation: good night, Franklin) to the “see you Monday” and reposted the picture to his own Instagram account. Pines cops learned about it Wednesday. The Threat Assessment Team talked to the boys.
“The suspect advised that he did not intent to direct a threat toward the school when he reposted the image with the additional text,” a Pines police statement said. “An interview was also conducted with the juvenile in the image, who explained that the picture was taken several weeks ago while he was Airsoft shooting with a group of friends.”
The 14-year-old who posted the photo to his Instagram account was charged with making a false report concerning the use of a firearm in a violent manner, a second-degree felony. The boy in the photo wasn’t charged. The boy told police he didn’t mean anything by what he posted. Not a threat, not a joke.
In May, students at Franklin, 18800 Pines Blvd., told police about a classmate who talked about being the next school shooter. The student was Baker Act-ed, then charged with the same second-degree felony.
On Sept. 24, a 13-year-old boy was arrested after police say the teen threatened to shoot up Pines Middle School. The boy later said it was a joke.
The same day, an 11-year-old was arrested after police said the boy stated, “I’m going to shoot up the school!” during first period at Pembroke Pines’ Walter C. Young Middle School. He also said the threat was a joke.
“We are asking our local parents to please speak with your children about making threats of this nature,” Pines police said. “All threats made against our schools will be taken seriously and will be swiftly investigated by our department. These are severe offenses, and any individual determined to have committed such acts will be charged accordingly.”