Education

Two students used Instagram to threaten a shooting at a Miami middle school, police say

Two Miami students are facing charges for threatening to shoot up Miami Springs Middle School, according to police.

Miami Dade Schools Police Chief Edwin Lopez said the students, ages 13 and 14, made threats against the school via the social media platform Instagram. The students were arrested Friday on charges of disruption of a school function and multiple counts of written threats to kill or do bodily injury.

Investigators were first tipped off Sunday evening to an Instagram account posting threats against the school, while someone was adding screenshots of other Instagram accounts that possibly included students, Lopez said. That account kept posting for several days before suddenly going dark.

Police determined Friday that the account belonged to a 14-year-old student at Miami Springs High.

But on Wednesday, a second account appeared to make repeated threats against Miami Springs Middle too. Police discovered late Thursday night that that account belonged to a 13-year-old student at Miami Springs Middle.

Both students confessed to creating the accounts and were taken to Juvenile Assessment Center, Lopez said. It is not clear what relationship the students had.

No weapons were found in either student’s home, he said.

Lopez said detectives from the school district’s police department, the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Homeland Security Bureau, and the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force collaborated on the five-day investigation.

“This is a perfect case of two juveniles draining our resources for a ... whole week,” Lopez said. “Detectives working around the clock to vet, to do the due diligence in investigating a case when our primary focus is having school resource officers in schools and having to add additional resources and layers working around the clock to ensure that our schools remain safe.”

Davie public information officer Mark Leone talks to the press after police cleared Nova High School's lockdown in Davie. Nova High and the schools in the surrounding area were placed on lockdown by police as they responded to a shooting threat.

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Contact Colleen Wright at 305-376-3003 and @Colleen_Wright.
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