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Saturday, January 21, 2023

15-year-old jailed after social media threat to shoot up high school in Citra

Marion County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 15-year-old student on Sunday and charged him with a felony for allegedly threatening to conduct a shooting at North Marion High School.

The sheriff’s office received numerous tips and information about the social media threat regarding the high school that’s located at 151 W Hwy. 329 in Citra. The sheriff’s office says those tips helped deputies quickly make the arrest in the case.

Under Florida law, anyone making a written threat toward a school, whether hand-written or electronically, is committing a felony. Marion County Public Schools and the sheriff’s office take every threat seriously and have taken a zero-tolerance stance toward that type of behavior.

The 15-year-old boy became the fourth juvenile to be arrested in connection with shooting threats at Marion County high schools in the past month. A 14-year-old was arrested on Feb. 12 in connection with a social media threat of mass shootings at two Belleview schools. The following day, a 13-year-old boy was arrested in the same case, as was a 16-year-old boy who was arrested last week.

In April 2018, a school shooting at Forest High School left one student injured and rattled the entire campus of the Ocala high school. Former student Sky Bouche, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, was quickly arrested by Marion County sheriff’s Cpl. Jimmy Long, who serves as the school resource officer at the facility.