Girl, 12, sent school shooting threat via Snapchat, deputies say

The Burns Middle School student sent the threat, then erased it. A student at Barrington Middle saw it.
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Published August 22
Updated August 22

BRANDON — A 12-year-old Burns Middle School student was arrested Thursday on a felony charge, accused of threatening to shoot up a school via Snapchat, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The student is a seventh grader whose name is being withheld by the Tampa Bay Times because of her age. She faces a charge of making a written threat to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct mass shooting or act of terrorism.

The Snapchat threat read: “Dear bms students I will be shooting that skool up September 3 2019 be ready say your goodbyes to you’re family because that is finel...Goodluck (; be ready."

The message was seen by Barrington Middle School student, who alerted a school resource deputy about the post at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday. When deputies questioned the Burns Middle student, they said she admitted to sending the threat and later deleting it from her Snapchat account. But she told deputies someone else sent it to her and she reposted it.

The agency did not know which “bms” the threat was made against, Burns or Barrington middle schools, which are about seven miles apart.

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said the girl faces a felony because his agency has a “zero tolerance policy” for school threats. When asked if the 12-year-old had access to firearms or the means to carry out the threat, the sheriff said that is still being investigated. He also asked parents to monitor their children’s social media accounts.

”If I had to make a plea tonight ... mom, dad, it’s your time to be parents,” Chronister said. “Don’t worry about your kids being upset because ... they feel that you violated their privacy. Know who your kids are talking (to) on social media. More importantly, know ... what they’re posting on social media at all times.”