Judge locks up Port St. Lucie 14-year old, accused of making school shooting threat

Judge locks up Port St. Lucie 14-year old, accused of making school shooting threat. (WPEC)

Making an apparent reference to the Parkland school massacre, a St. Lucie County circuit judge ordered a 14-year old into custody on Saturday.

The boy, charged with making a written school shooting threat on social media, made his initial juvenile court appearance, with his mother at his side.

“He was just joking,” insisted the teen’s mother after the hearing. “The evidence that they gave him, they took it out of context… the kids were laughing and joking.”

The arrest report from Port St. Lucie Police quotes from the social media exchange.

According to the report, the 14-year old said he got suspended from school for 10 days, and hoped to be expelled, “so I can shoot up the school. (And) I won’t get blamed for it.”

Later in the chat, the teen asks, “where do you want to be shot at.” The friend responds, “both,” and the 14-year old’s reply is “ok” with a proliferation of smiley face emojis.

But police said they found an earlier post— a picture of the teen with what appeared to be a rifle, which was recovered and turned out to be a B-B gun.

Prosecutors told the judge Saturday, there was yet another post of the teen referring to himself as “future criminal.”

“Certainly I’m cognizant of the events of this week,” said Judge Sherwood Bauer, an apparent reference to the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland.

Citing a potential threat to the community, Judge Bauer ordered the boy into custody.

“The crime is not, could it have occurred,” the judge explained. “It’s a threat to do something— intimidation.”

While Bauer ordered the 14-year old into secure detention for 21 days, he also ordered a review of the matter before the county’s juvenile judge on Monday.

“He didn’t do anything,” the boy’s mother insisted. “He’s never been in trouble. I went through his social media.”

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