Florida Authorities Detain 11-Year-Old for Falsely Reporting School Shooting to Leave Early

Florida law enforcement recently apprehended an 11-year-old for allegedly orchestrating a false report of a school shooting on December 5, with the purported motive of leaving school early.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement disclosing that their investigators traced the misleading 911 call back to the juvenile, who had utilized a friend’s unattended cellphone for the prank. 

Prior to making the call, the boy confided in his friend about his desire to depart school prematurely.

The police statement clarified, “All of this was a prank.”

The young offender now faces charges related to a false report of a mass shooting, using a two-way communication device for a felony, disrupting a school function, and misusing the 911 emergency system. 

The statement did not confirm whether the juvenile has legal representation at this time.

In the released 911 audio, a boy can be heard reporting, “Help, there is a school shooter walking through the hallway.” When questioned about the specific school, he mentioned “Marion Oaks” and vaguely referred to “building two.” 

Despite the dispatcher’s efforts to pinpoint the school, the boy evaded a direct answer, opting instead to utter, “He’s coming, he’s coming,” before abruptly ending the call, which lasted 43 seconds.

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Florida Sheriff Condemns School Shooting Prank

florida-authorities-detain-11-year-old-for-falsely-reporting-school-shooting
Florida law enforcement recently apprehended an 11-year-old for allegedly orchestrating a false report of a school shooting on December 5, with the purported motive of leaving school early.

Upon receiving the distressing call at 9:39 a.m. on December 5, the police swiftly responded to Horizon Academy in Marion Oaks, deploying a SWAT team, aviation unit, and K-9s, as stated in their official release.

The ensuing evacuation and thorough police search induced noticeable “fear levels” among both students and faculty, prompting authorities to implement a lockdown as a precautionary measure. 

However, subsequent investigations revealed no credible threat to the school community.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods expressed his dismay over the incident, emphasizing the emotional toll inflicted on students, staff, and parents. 

He underscored the gravity of the situation, stating, “For what? A prank? Because you wanted to go home?”

Sheriff Woods highlighted Florida law’s provision mandating restitution for the expenses incurred by law enforcement in responding to false reports. 

In this case, he estimated the cost to be “hundreds upon hundreds of man-hours” and suggested the young perpetrator would need to undertake significant efforts to meet this financial obligation.

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