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Palm Coast Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 3 months ago

Student, 13, arrested after allegedly threatening school shooting during Xbox Live game

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The Buddy Taylor Middle School student told a deputy that he 'does say things out of anger, and that he has anger issues,' according to an FCSO report.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Deputies arrested a 13-year-old Buddy Taylor Middle School student Feb. 13 after the boy, while playing Xbox Live, allegedly told other students that he was planning to shoot up the school, according to a Flagler County Sheriff's Office charging affidavit.

"The witnesses stated that [the 13-year-old] was mad because they began to lose in the game," a deputy wrote in a charging affidavit. "According to [the witness], out of nowhere [the 13-year-old] began to yell and make threats to shoot up the school this week."

The 13-year-old is charged with making a "false report concerning the use of a firearm in a deadly manner," a felony.

The threats came to the attention of the school's administration and the FCSO after one of the witnesses reported the incident, which occurred during an "Xbox party."

"The witnesses stated that [the 13-year-old] was mad because they began to lose in the game," a deputy wrote in a charging affidavit. "According to [the witness], out of nowhere [the 13-year-old] began to yell and make threats to shoot up the school this week."

The witness said the 13-year-old had "also made statements about killing himself, but did not provide details," according to the charging affidavit.

The other student who had been playing the game was summoned to speak to school administrators Feb. 11, and confirmed hearing the 13-year-old make those statements, according to the charging affidavit.

Buddy Taylor Middle School Assistant Principal Cara Cronk, Dean Tara Millette and Principal Bobby Bossardet met with a school psychologist Feb. 11 for a threat assessment meeting, and opted to turn the matter over to the FCSO and remove the 13-year-old student from school pending a manifestation meeting, according to the charging affidavit. Manifestation hearings are held to determine whether a special education student's misbehavior is a manifestation of the student's disability. 

A deputy who spoke to the witnesses wrote in a charging affidavit that one of the witnesses had asked the 13-year-old if he was serious about shooting up the school. The witness said that the 13-year-old had replied that he was serious, and that he was making a map of the school.

The witness asked the 13-year-old how he was going to do it.

"[The 13-year-old] stated he was going to aim down the hallways and just shoot," the deputy wrote in the report, summarizing the witness' statement.

The deputy asked the witness if the 13-year-old was known to be violent. The witness said the 13-year-old "has been bullied before and is known to be violent," according to the charging affidavit.

A deputy, with the 13-year-old's mother's permission, spoke with the 13-year-old. When the deputy asked him if he was willing to talk, the teen "stated that there wasn't much to say since he was being charged anyway. [The 13-year-old] then said that he does say things out of anger, and that he has anger issues."

The 13-year-old did not make a formal statement. His mother said he does not have any access to firearms at home.

“We are glad that these students spoke up and let their parents know exactly what was being said on Xbox,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in an FCSO news release. “We have a zero tolerance policy in Flagler County for threats of violence in our schools. We have been working closely with the School District to remind parents and students about appropriate speech and behavior in schools as well as online.”

The FCSO released a PSA video on its social media channels earlier in February encouraging witnesses to report any school threats. It can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/flaglercounty.sheriffsoffice/videos/2082099221857434/.

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