Students from Manatee, Hillsborough arrested for school threats

Image 1 of 3

After local law enforcement and school officials outlined a zero-tolerance policy for students who threaten to shoot up their schools, three more students face felony charges for making similar threats.

The Manatee County Sheriffs' Office said three students were arrested in connection with threats made on social media against Braden River Middle School and Team Success Charter School.  

A 14-year-old male was charged Tuesday evening regarding the BRMS threat and two 11-year-old females were charged with the Team Success threat, the sheriff's office said.

Meanwhile, in Manatee County, detectives from the Bradenton Police Department were investigating a threatening note regarding Manatee High School - when they found a second note on school grounds.

The note said there would be a shooting on the Manatee High School campus on Wednesday, Bradenton Police said. An arrest, in this case, has not been made, but BPD said "proactive measures" were in place and there would be "increased police presence at Manatee High and all local schools," Wednesday.

In Tampa, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan had a clear message for anyone considering making a threat.

"The comments, the social media posts that they may think are funny, we're going to knock on your door and ask you the hard questions," Chief Dugan said.

Chief Dugan and Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins addressed heightened fears in local schools after the tragic school shooting in Parkland Florida. While none of the known threats here come close to what Nikolas Cruz is charged within Parkland, police have to investigate each one. 

At Robinson High School in Tampa, police arrested a 16-year-old boy Tuesday. After he got a bad grade, police say he told the teacher that if they didn't change it, he'd come back and shoot up the school.

They also arrested a 15-year-old at Middleton High School in Tampa. Police say he had been suspended, returned to the school and threatened to come back with a gun.

Even though both threats were found not to be credible, both were charged with second-degree felonies for making the threats.

"If you say something or post something stupid, you may end up going to jail for it," says Dugan.

"Some of these false threats that take up our valuable resources and security are getting in the way of focusing on the day to day operations of keeping our kids safe," says Eakins.