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HCSO: Student Arrested for Threats to Shoot Teachers

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HCSO Report (Edited)

On Saturday, 09-23-2023, at approximately 1:10 p.m. Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies received a call from the parent of a student, attending Winding Waters K-8 in Weeki Wachee, who stated that two of her child’s fellow classmates had threatened to commit a school shooting.

The reporting student completed a statement advising they had been on a FaceTime call with two other classmates and had witnessed them playing with what appeared to be a real gun making threats to shoot several teachers during the next school day. During this FaceTime call, the classmates making the threats told the reporting student not to come to school on Monday because they were going to shoot multiple teachers and staff. In addition to the FaceTime call, a threat was also posted to social media by one of the classmates.

Contact was made with the first classmate, identified as Matthew, who will be 14 in October, along with his parents, at their residence where they were advised of the allegations. During the interview, Matthew admitted that the statements were made, but that they were made because of another student that first threatened to shoot him.

Matthew continued by stating he had nothing to do with making the threats and that it was his friend, who was also on the FaceTime call, who said they were going to shoot teachers at the school. Matthew did have possession of a plastic BB gun which looked like a handgun.

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Contact was then made with the other classmate and caregiver at their residence. During the interview, the student denied that the comments about shooting teachers at Winding Waters K-8 were made, stating that they were only playing video games. No weapons of any kind were found at this student’s residence.

Both students were advised they would have to be driven to the school district headquarters on Monday to meet with both deputies and the administration for further investigation and assessment.

On the morning of Monday, 09-25-2023, after further interviews with deputies, school administration, and counseling staff, Matthew was placed into custody and transported to the Hernando County Detention Center and charged with one count of Intimidation/Send Written Threat to Conduct Mass Shooting. Matthew was then transferred to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

No charges have been filed against the other student at this time.

Hernando County Crime Stoppers / Anonymous Tips
If you have information on this case, please contact Hernando County Crime Stoppers. You will remain anonymous!
Hernando County Crime Stoppers can be reached by phone at 1-866-990-TIPS (8477) or **TIPS from a cell phone.
You may also submit your tip via the internet at http://www.hernandocountycrimestoppers.com .
You will remain anonymous and also be eligible for a reward up to $5,000 cash!

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