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Ocala
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Ocala middle school student’s claim of classmate with a gun turns out to be a hoax

A Marion County school resource officer was called for help Tuesday about a report of a student bringing a gun to school – a claim that later was proven to be a hoax.

The school resource officer, a Marion County sheriff’s deputy, said he was contacted by the assistant principal of discipline at Liberty Middle School, located at 4773 SW 95th St. in Ocala. The deputy was told that a student was claiming an unknown classmate had a firearm on campus and was planning to shoot a female student, a sheriff’s office report states.

The deputy and the assistant principal then made contact with the student, who first claimed he was told that another male student had a bullet on campus. He also said the male student had a spent bullet casing on the school bus this past Friday afternoon, the report says.

The deputy went to speak with the male student but soon discovered that he was absent from school. He spoke with the boy’s mother, who confirmed he was at home and said he “should not have any bullets nor casings,” the report says.

The student who originally reported the issue made several other statements about the male student with the firearm, including seeing him “pull a gun out and load it on the school bus this morning on the way to school.” The student then became emotionally upset and started crying while admitting that he made up the entire story and “didn’t know why he said that,” the report says.

The deputy explained the seriousness of reporting a false incident to the student and his mother was notified. The student then received “school sanctions” for his actions, the report says.