HCSO: Teen arrested after making false school shooting threat

- A 15-year-old student from Newsome High School was arrested after joking about a possible school shooting, deputies say.

On Wednesday around 10 p.m., Hillsborough County investigators say they were made aware of a Snapchat photo circulating showing a white male holding what appeared to be a black assault rifle-style firearm. The photo caption read, “Don’t come to school tomorrow.”

The photo was shared multiple times through the Snapchat application, making the original screenname unreadable, according to a media release. However, deputies were eventually told the subject in the photo was possibly a ninth-grader at Newsome High School, located in Lithia. 

They identified the 15-year-old male student and went to his home. The student and his parents were cooperative, they say, and showed deputies the alleged weapon, which turned out to be a “very realistic Airsoft rifle.”

The student admitted to taking the picture and sharing it on Snapchat with the caption, deputies say. He told them he meant it as a joke between his friends and promised he wasn’t going to hurt anyone. 

Deputies say they arrested and charged him for making a false report to use firearms in a violent manner. He was transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center. 

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