GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A 13-year-old boy was arrested after making threats to “shoot people” on a social media app at Lake Asbury Junior High, Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook said …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A 13-year-old boy was arrested after making threats to “shoot people” on a social media app at Lake Asbury Junior High, Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook said Wednesday afternoon.
The boy was taken to the Duval Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Jacksonville after deputies with the Clay County District Schools Police Department and Clay County Sheriff’s Office deemed the threat posted on the Houseparty app to be credible.
The boy was in possession of a Colt rifle and ammunition, Cook said.
A girl at the school saw the post and reported it to a teacher, who then forwarded the information to the school resource officer, Robert Lee. After determining the threat was more than a hoax, Lee turned it over to CCSO.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the students that came forward with this information,” Cook said. “You are brave, you are courageous, and you did the right thing.”
Broskie said he was pleased local law enforcement agencies worked together to bring a quick resolution to a potential tragedy.
“This is a good went right with the cooperative atmosphere between Clay County Sheriff’s Office and all of our local agencies and our own police department,” Superintendent David Broskie said. “Here’s where when things went right. One, a student came forward bravely to announce to an adult what had happened. The teacher then did the right thing to report it to the deputy on campus, and then contacted the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.”
CCSO deputy Tim Bell completed the investigation that led to the boy’s arrest.
Cook said the boy admitted taking the rifle from a locked cabinet after learning the combination at his grandparents’ house. An inventory revealed no other weapons were missing, Cook said.
The announcement came one day after Cook was appointed to fill Darryl Daniels final four months after he was suspended by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis after being charged with one felony and three misdemeanors related to an extramarital affair. It also seemed to be a departure from an often-contentious relationship between the sheriff’s office and the school police department after the district ended its contract with CCSO at the beginning of the 2019 schoolyear and created its own force.
“I’d like to thank the Clay County District Schools Police Department in general for their cooperation and coordination in this investigation,” Cook said. “We appreciate that partnership, as well as the partnership of all of our local police departments. I want the citizens of Clay County to know we are here, working together, to keep our kids safe.”
Bell, Green Cove Springs Police Chief Derek Asdot and Orange Park Police Chief Gary Goble also attended the announcement.
The boy immediately was suspended and won’t be allowed back to school until his case “plays out,” Broskie said. The superintendent also warned anyone else, “The Clay County School District does not tolerate this kind of conduct.” He also had a message for parents, saying:
“I would put to parents to talk to your children about thinking before they post,” he said. “So many times, we have students that say things and do things before thinking and press send. This is a good reminder to not do that.”
Cook said the investigation is ongoing. She also asked anyone else was on Houseparty that night they contact the school resource officer or the sheriff’s office.
“This is an important reminder as we get back into the school year to talk to your children, the importance of reporting suspicious activity to an adult,” said said. “Also a reminder for parents and guardians to secure all firearms even if they are in a safe... good idea to change that combination every once in a while even if they are safe.”