Three Florida Students Arrested for TikTok Videos Simulating School Shooting During Bomb Threat Evacuation
Three Florida students were arrested for posting multiple TikTok videos online that simulated a mass shooting on their campus. The videos were reportedly made with a toy gun and filmed while the school was undergoing an evacuation for a bomb threat. Sheriffs announced the third arrest Friday afternoon.
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In a press release, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office stated that the three students were from two different schools. The incidents involved different but similar videos. The sheriff’s office said in a Friday press release,
“A student at Parrish Community High School has been arrested for posting a video to [TikTok] simulating a mass shooting on campus with a toy gun. This is the second student arrested in two days for posting a video depicting a mass shooting. Yesterday (2/8/23), deputies arrested a student at nearby Buffalo Creek Middle School for a similar threatening video.”
UPDATE: A 3rd student has been arrested for posting a video depicting a school shooting on TikTok this week. Two anonymous tips were received today about another, separate video filmed during a Parrish Community HS bomb threat evacuation on 2/7.
Details: https://t.co/oSxSgsMS80 https://t.co/Tr4bIC6ITO
— Manatee Sheriff (@ManateeSheriff) February 9, 2023
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Deputies learned of the videos through anonymous tips to Manatee Crime Stoppers.
“The student was quickly identified by a School Resource deputy and arrested at the student’s residence this morning. The student admitted to making the video and was taken to juvenile detention.”
All three students have been charged with the second-degree felony of making written or electronic threats to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct a mass shooting.
“The investigation continues with the possibility of additional arrests. Deputies do not have evidence that this student is connected to other recent threats at Parrish Community High School. Multiple investigations are ongoing,” the Sheriff’s office said.
Manatee County schools have experienced a string of violent threats over the past week. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday evening that they had arrested another student for filing a false tip about a school shooting at Parrish Community High School. The student admitted to making the false report “as a joke.” He is currently facing a second-degree misdemeanor charge of disrupting an educational institution.
Parrish Community High School students and staff evacuated on Tuesday after police received two bomb threats. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said they spent three hours evacuating the campus and clearing it of any threats. A bomb detection K-9 unit was brought in from a nearby department.
Crimes Against Children detectives arrested a student at Parrish Community High School this evening for making a false tip on 2/6/23 about a shooting at PCHS. The 4th student arrested in 2 days for making school threats. https://t.co/6f7cXmj58v pic.twitter.com/FgjwyoflMj
— Manatee Sheriff (@ManateeSheriff) February 10, 2023
The sheriff’s office said they had received four bomb threats since Feb. 1 against Parrish Community High School. The evacuations were used as the backdrop for the threatening TikTok videos.
“I need for you to seriously sit down and talk to your children about making idle threats, any threats whatsoever,” Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells said Tuesday. “When we find those that are responsible, we are going to put them in jail, they are going to be charged with a felony and that felony is going to stay with them for the rest of their life.”
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The sheriff’s department continues investigating the threats and says new arrests may be made in the future. Crime Stoppers of Manatee County is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest related to these threats. They can be contacted at (866) 634-TIPS or manateecrimestoppers.com.
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