A 13-year-old boy was arrested Sunday after making a threat in an online group chat to shoot up a South Florida middle school, which is located 30 minutes from a high school where a mass shooter killed 17 people in February, WPLG reported Monday.
The teen, however, told authorities in Broward County that the threat was a joke, according to a news release from the Pembroke Pines Police Department.
In an Instagram group chat, the teen reportedly threatened an attack at Pines Middle School, WFOR reported. One of the chatters became concerned and contacted authorities, the television station reported.
The chat room included about nine children, according to a news release from the Pembroke Pines Police Department.
Police went to the teen's home and spoke to him and his parents. During questioning, the boy confessed to making the threat but said it was intended as a joke, WLPG reported.
The teen was arrested on a second-degree felony charge of making a false report concerning the use of a weapon in a violent manner, WFOR reported.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.