Island Coast High virtual student accused of making threats in Zoom classroom
A 14-year-old student of Island Coast High School was arrested after he sent threatening messages to three teachers on two separate occasions, Cape Coral police said.
The student sent messages to three teachers threatening violence with weapons in private chats in the Zoom virtual classroom. The school resource officer was informed of the threats that were made and contacted the Cape Coral Police Department.
Detectives completed a thorough investigation including obtaining subpoenas to help identify the person who was sending the messages. Once the teen was identified, police interviewed him and his parents before placing him under arrest for three counts of making threats of a mass shooting.
This is the first time that a student has been charged with making threats of a mass shooting during a Zoom virtual classroom chat, police said, adding that “the safety of students, staff and first responders will always be our highest priority when threats are made of a mass shooting.”
Cape PD brought in its major crimes unit to help sort our who made the threat. They then talked with the student’s parents before making the arrest. The teen was later transported to the Lee County Juvenile Detention Center.
Several students were questioned during the investigation and one mother says her son was wrongly accused of the crime after his username was stolen. Now, she wants an apology.
“He doesn’t even want to go back to that school and why would he? He was targeted,” said Deborah Mendez. She said deputies came to her home to question her son.
She said police scared her because investigators thought her son made those threats.
“They just came banging on my door,” she said. “They looked through my son’s Chromebook here at home. After they left because they couldn’t find anything, we went to the school.”
Mendez was not happy with the school’s response.
“The school did not call me to apologize. The principal did not call me to apologize. I do not want my son to go back to that school,” she said. “Just, Lee School stuff is not working. The classes are…ugh, it’s not working.”