Education

Columbus High student charged with making school-shooting threats in viral video

A Christopher Columbus High School student was arrested Friday after making a music video suggesting a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and two rival schools on the social media app Tik Tok as part of a viral challenge, police said.

On Wednesday, Miami police were told of a possible social media threat against La Salle High School, according to a police report.

The person who saw the threat, which was a music video posted by a 16-year-old Christoper Columbus High student, was from La Salle and was shown it by a student.

Late that night, police went to the home of the 16-year-old and spoke with him and his parents.

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The video was posted on Tik Tok, a social media app, and showed the student pointing to the names of three South Florida schools — Marjory Stoneman, Belen Jesuit Preparatory and La Salle — while the song “All Talk” by rapper 3ohblack plays in the background.

Every time the sound of a gunshot goes off in the song, the student points a finger gun to the schools’ names and they disappear.

The top of the video displayed the words “Best Schools in Florida,” which would suggest that the boy may have been saying the three named schools were not the best or at least not better than his school. But the end of the video showing someone cowering with the word “School secuirty:” over them may be what has police thinking otherwise.

The caption for the video also read, “Someone’s gotta do it” and “#overdramatic.”

Marjory Stoneman Douglas was the Parkland school where a former student shot and killed 17 students and faculty members on Feb. 14, 2018.

Different variations of this video have been widely shared on Tik Tok as a challenge.

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The student was suspended from Columbus on Thursday.

“We take the safety and security of our students and our community very seriously,” said Columbus Principal David Pugh in a statement. “Effective immediately, the student was suspended pending a thorough investigation.”

The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office was told of the video and shown all evidence regarding it on Thursday also.

Police said in the report, “The juvenile’s social media post was perceived as a threat and was enough to make an arrest”

The boy was arrested and charged with making a written threat to kill or do bodily harm, and was taken to a juvenile detention center.

The 16-year-old joins a slew of other Florida residents who found themselves behind bars for making mass shooting threats online recently.

A Davie Nova High School student was charged with sending messages about shooting up a school saying, “I want to shoot up a school. I want to step on and or over their bloodied corpses and her [hear] the squelching of their wounds forcing out that last bit of blood.”

Leo Arong Jr., a 45-year-old Daytona Beach man and U.S. army veteran, made several threats on YouTube during a “PBS News Hour” live video saying things like, “I should have been aborted at birth, to save this country from my coming mass killings of American.”

Tristan Wix, a 25-year-old also from Daytona Beach, was charged for saying “... a good 100 kills would be nice” and “A school is a weak target ... id be more likely to open fire on a large crowd of people from over 3 miles away.”

Richard Seepersad, a 41-year-old Rockledge man, was charged with starting a phone call hoax threatening to shoot up a Merritt Island Walmart, just a day after the mass shooting in El Paso.

Miami Herald staff writers Colleen Wright and Bianca Padró Ocasio contributed to this report.

Miami Herald Real Time Reporter Devoun Cetoute covers breaking news, Florida theme parks and general assignment. He attends the University of Florida and grew up in Miami. Theme parks are on his mind in and out of the office.
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