Florida school shooting copycats arrested after tip off and threats of ‘round two’
Schools in North Carolina, Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey were among those targeted, with one threat showing an image of a masked student holding a gun
The deadly high school shooting in south Florida has led to a number of copycats threatening to attack schools across the nation.
The devastation at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was enough to leave schools everywhere on edge but online threats worsened things and even led to a number of false shooting reports Friday.
Schools in North Carolina, Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey were among those targeted by threats online, including an image of a masked student holding a gun with the caption, “Round 2 of Florida tomorrow”.
Many appeared to be hoaxes but others were well-planned, police said.
A Vermont teen was arrested on Friday afternoon after a tip to law enforcement.
Jack Sawyer, 18, detailed his intentions in a journal he titled “Diary of an Active Shooter”, and recently bought a shotgun, according to Vermont State Police Major Glenn Hall.
He wanted to cause mass casualties and had been planning for about a year, Hall said.
“By the grace of God and the bravery of a courageous young woman did we avert disaster,” Scott said. He added that he was “jolted” by the details of the case, as described in a sworn police outline of the case called an affidavit.
In South Carolina, a teen was arrested after a photo of him masked and holding up a rifle was reported to law enforcement.
The suspect told authorities the Snapchat post was a joke. Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Kevin Bobo said the gun turned out to be a pellet gun but officials weren’t taking any chances and charged him.
Law enforcement has been adamant in reminding people to report anything suspicious to law enforcement in the aftermath of the shooting in Florida.
Police said ahead of the shooting, alleged gunman Nikolas Cruz made a series of troubling posts on social media. Many who know Cruz have said they thought he was troubled.