Cape Coral, FL – A 10-year-old boy was arrested on Saturday after he allegedly sent a text message threatening to commit a mass shooting.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) said it became aware of the “threatening text message” on May 28.
The LCSO’s School Threat Enforcement Team was immediately notified about the message and began investigating the incident, the department said in a press release later that night.
Investigators determined the text was sent by a Patriot Elementary School fifth-grader.
Detectives interviewed the 10-year-old before arresting him on a charge of making a written threat to conduct a mass shooting.
The LCSO released video footage showing the handcuffed suspect being escorted out of the sheriff’s office and placed into the back of a patrol car.
“Right now is not the time to act like a little delinquent,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said in the press release. “It’s not funny. This child made a fake threat, and now he’s experiencing real consequences.”
The threat came just days after an 18-year-old gunman fatally shot 19 children and two teachers inside a fourth-grade classroom at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“This student’s behavior is sickening, especially after the recent tragedy in Uvalde, Texas,” Sheriff Marceno said. “Making sure our children are safe is paramount. We will have law and order in our schools! My team didn’t hesitate one second…NOT ONE SECOND, to investigate this threat.”
The LCSO’s Youth Services Criminal Investigations Division has taken over the case “due to the nature of the incident,” the sheriff’s office said.
It is unclear whether or not the suspect was transported to a juvenile facility or if he was released to a guardian.
Sheriff Marceno posted a video to Twitter one day prior to the mass shooting threat, warning that his department would not tolerate any threats to schools within their jurisdiction.
— Carmine Marceno – Florida’s Law and Order Sheriff (@SheriffLeeFL) May 27, 2022
“Present deadly physical force at one of our schools, we’re not waiting one second,” said the sheriff, who was flanked by multiple uniformed deputies holding rifles. “We are going to kill you, because you can’t kill evil enough.”