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Teens arrested after posting Snapchat threat to 'shoot up' Florida high school, authorities say

17-year-old suspect says it was 'just a prank,' according to arrest report
Martin County High School on Aug. 11, 2021.jpg
Posted at 6:28 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 21:40:03-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. (WPTV) — Two teens were arrested early Thursday morning after posting a threat on social media to "shoot up" Martin County High School in southern Florida, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, several students in a Snapchat group saw the post late Wednesday night. It reportedly showed a young man holding a handgun, along with the caption, "[expletive] county I'm gonna shoot up the school."

Those students notified their parents, who then called 911.

Around 3 a.m. Thursday, deputies took two teens, ages 17 and 13, into custody. Authorities said the older teen is the one who posed with the weapon.

Martin County Chief Deputy John Budensiek said the 13-year-old admitted to investigators the gun was his. When authorities went to his home, they found a loaded black Beretta 92x 9mm handgun hidden behind a dresser in his bedroom.

Budensiek said the weapon had been stolen during an unrelated burglary.

"They not only made the threat, but they had the apparent ability to carry out that threat if they so desired to," Budensiek said.

According to an arrest report, the 17-year-old told detectives "he took pictures of the gun on Snapchat because he thought it was 'cool'" and admitted it was "just a prank."

The teen said he posted the photo without the caption to "shoot up" Martin County High School, and the 13-year-old later added the threat in. The 13-year-old, however, said he "never posted any statements on Snapchat," the arrest report stated.

Budensiek said neither teen attends Martin County High School.

"The 13-year-old suspect appears to have had an issue with someone or something going on at Martin County High School," Budensiek said. "We have not vetted out yet exactly what the issue was or who the person was in the school."

The 13-year-old — who authorities said has a criminal background — is under arrest for a misdemeanor of possession of a firearm by a minor and has been released to his guardian. The 17-year-old is facing a felony charge of making written electronic threats to kill and is currently in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice in Fort Pierce.

Budensiek praised the students who noticed the troubling post and notified their parents.

"Those children on Snapchat and on social media all day, every day, they see things that we don't even have the ability to see," Budensiek said. "Those teenagers coming forward could've potentially saved a disaster."

This story was originally reported by Matt Papaycik , Scott Sutton on WPTV.com.