12-year-old arrested for threatening mass shooting at Lehigh Acres Middle School
Authorities arrested a 12-year-old student On Thursday for making a threat on social media to commit a shooting at Lehigh Acres Middle School.
The student has his first appearance on Friday.
He was asked to stay away from the school if he is not allowed to return.
He will be held for 21 days and has an arraignment scheduled for at 9 a.m. on Nov. 22.
Another student was arrested on Wednesday for taking a stun gun to the school in an unrelated incident.
The investigation began on Wednesday at a home in the 1000 block of Prospect Avenue, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives learned that a seventh-grader was responsible for posting the threat.
They found two airsoft guns in his room and other guns locked in a safe elsewhere in the home.
The student will be charged with threat to conduct a mass shooting.
In a letter to parents, Lehigh Acres Middle School Principal Brian Gibson said a social media post was circulating late Wednesday night that threatened violence at the school.
“The investigation continues, so not only will there be legal consequences for the student but they will be disciplined per the Student Code of Conduct,” Gibson wrote. “Teaching and learning will continue as normal today. We thank you for trusting us with your student.”
According to an arrest report, three people reported the threat to law enforcement. The post showed a photo of a rifle with the caption “don’t come to school tomorrow, I will kill the people.”
Parents are understandably worried.
This is the second time this week they’ve been told about a school threat inside their children’s school.
“I did not want to send my son to school today. I did not want him to go. Why? I should be secure in knowing that he is safe in school. I’m not now,” said Suzan Rudoi, a parent to a Lehigh Acres Middle School student.
“I think do I want to send him? What if that was not the only person? What if there is more? What do I do? He can’t keep missing school but I don’t want to send him somewhere or something could happen to him,” Rudoi said.
Many more parents posted similar reactions on Facebook, but classes went on as usual.
Wilaer Julmeas, a grandparent of a student at the school, said deputies did a good job investigating the crime.
“The police did a good thing to catch him before maybe he might be shooting in there to kill someone,” Julmeas said.
With two threats at school this week, and more reported to the district, parents worry this won’t be the last time they worry for the children’s safety.
“Something has to be done because I can guarantee you it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Rudoi said.