Winter Haven detective tracks online threat to Kansas

- A tip to Winter Haven law enforcement resulted in the arrest of a 16-year-old from Kansas for making threats to carry out a shooting at this school. 

Winter Haven police said a detective was told by a Port Richey resident about a threat made online in a PlayStation 4 gaming environment. 

The post involved photos of two guns and the post of, "shooting up my school tomorrow," police said.

“This was extremely blatant,” said Jamie Brown with the Winter Haven Police Department.

The detective contacted the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, which then contacted the PlayStation Network. PlayStation first said a subpoena would be needed to access the personal information of the username associated with the posts, but after seeing multiple complaints had been filed about the same post, police said PlayStation recognized the urgency and possible immediate threat. 

The identity of the user was revealed as a 16-year-old in Leavenworth, Kansas. 

“Nowadays, we take all that seriously to ensure we keep the children safe,” said Deputy Chief Dan Nicodemus with the Leavenworth Police Department.

Bay Area officers called Leavenworth law enforcement, who went to the teen's home. 

Winter Haven police said the officer who went to the boy's home saw a PlayStation screen through the open door along with a long-barreled weapon like the one described in the report.

Inside, the officer found a "black ops" pellet gun, which looked like a very large revolver, and a Crossman BB gun with a scope. Both weapons were the same as depicted in the online post.

The teen admitted to creating the post and said the whole thing was a joke. 

"He could very well have still intended to do that but got caught and said it was a joke," said Brown.

Officials say this is case is a prime example of the phrase "see something say something."

"What if that person had not called our detective? What if our detective didn't take it that next step that next day? There could have been something tragic on the news," said Brown.

The teen was arrested and charged with felony criminal threat.  He was taken to a juvenile detention facility.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Winter Haven detective tracks online threat to Kansas
  • Florida schools can cut back year by 2 days due to storm
  • Sarasota teen not heard from since before Irma
  • Former counselor takes gamble on child porn plea deal
  • Train hits homeless man on railroad tracks in Lakeland
  • Friends united by tragedy remeber 9/11 16 years later
  • Shelter opened for Withlacoochee River evacuees
  • Construction begins for USF Health facilities in downtown Tampa
  • Out-of-town linemen receive send-off in Lakeland
  • Operation Blue Roof expands in Tampa Bay