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Palm Coast Friday, Mar. 9, 2018 6 months ago

Boy, 13, arrested after allegedly using a realistic BB gun to threaten another boy near Bunnell Elementary School

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In a separate incident, a deputy was called out to investigate allegations that a girl at Imagine School had said that when she was older, she'd bring a gun to school and shoot the kids who were being mean to her.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

School personnel and local law enforcement officers have dealt with two alleged school-related threats in two days. One incident led to an arrest and involved a student allegedly pointing a BB gun at another child. It's still under investigation.

The other — a report that a girl had said that when she was older, she'd bring a gun to school and shoot the kids that were mean to her — didn't lead to enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime.

On Wednesday, March 7, Bunnell Police Department officers and Flagler County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to Bunnell Elementary School after reports that 13-year-old boy who'd recently been suspended was riding his bike on the streets around the school armed with a gun.

The school was placed on code yellow lockdown while officers and deputies tried to find the boy, according to a Bunnell Police Department news release. Sheriff's Office deputies found him near area of East Howe Street and North Orange Street, and took him into custody. 

The boy has been arrested on a charge of aggravated assault. 

He didn't have a gun in his possession when deputies found him, and law enforcement officers didn't find one at the scene. 

But another student told an officer that he was with other kids on the school playground near East Magnolia Street when the boy and another male, both of them on bikes, rode up, and the suspect pulled a gun out of is pocket and pointed it at him, according to the news release.

The student described the gun as a "long pistol." He walked away and told other students, then teachers, according to the news release. Officers later found the other boy who'd been with the suspect, and recovered a realistic-looking BB gun they believe the 13-year-old suspect had pointed at the child on the playground.

That case remains under investigation. When the boy was arrested, the Sheriff's Office had responded to 21 threats at local schools since Feb. 15.

The following day, at about 3:40 p.m. March 8 — just hours after Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly, during a press conference, said he'd implemented a zero tolerance policy for school threats — a deputy responded to Imagine School at Town Center in reference to threats. 

The school leader told the deputy that a teacher reported that a student said that another student, a girl, was making threatening statements on the school bus.

The girl, according to the teacher's account of the witness' statement, "said when she gets older, she is going to bring a gun to the school and shoot the kids that are being mean to her," according to a deputy's report.

The deputy met with the father of the girl who'd allegedly made the threatening statements. The father said he had no knowledge of any such statements by his daughter.

When the deputy spoke to the girl with her father present, she answered no when the deputy asked her if she'd said anything about a gun while on the bus. The girl said the only time she'd mentioned guns at school or on the bus was when she was talking with a friend about toy Nerf guns at a birthday party.

The deputy wrote in the report that there wasn't enough evidence to charge anyone with a crime.

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