A mother pleaded with police in DeLand, Florida, Friday after authorities arrived to arrest her teenage son. At issue was a threat he is said to have made online vowing to cause a mass shooting.
“A student from Seabreeze High School was arrested recently after posting a comment on a video game chat platform,” the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office wrote in the description of a video of the arrest uploaded to the department’s Facebook page Monday, August 19. “The comment was: ‘I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum.'”
The description noted that although “the young man responsible for the comment insisted it was a joke” such comments “are felonies under the law. After the mass violence we’ve seen in Florida and across the country, law enforcement officers have a responsibility to investigate and charge those who choose to make these types of threatening statements.”
“The comment was reported to the FBI, and the FBI contacted us,” the post continued, noting the name the teen used online was a phony one.
“He’ll be going to DJJ… the juvenile jail,” the arresting officer tells the teen’s mother in the video. “He’ll be placed in there for several days and we’re gonna go from there. The charge is a felony. It might be a second or third degree.”
“He’s just a little boy, he didn’t do anything wrong,” the mother replies crying. “He’s not one of the crazy people out there doing stuff, he shouldn’t be treated like he is a terrorist.”
“Well, he did what he did,” the officer says before later recalling recent mass shootings in schools in Parkland, Florida, and Newtown, Connecticut, the latter of which occurred at an elementary school, Sandy Hook.
“How do we know he’s not going to be the kid from Parkland?” the officer states. “He’s not going to be the kid who shot up Sandy Hook? We don’t know that.
“This is the world we live in, where people think it’s funny to say ‘I’m going to go kill people at school,’” the deputy adds. “He made the charge, he’s going to face the consequences.”
Then, he takes the teen to juvenile detention.
Speaking to Fox 13, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the arrest, which came after the FBI alerted local authorities to the threat on August 15, was the first of its kind.
“That was probably the first we’ve seen this come through a gaming thing, coming through a gaming thing that was a first for us,” he explained before remarking on the two back-to-back mass shootings that occurred in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, earlier this month.
“The good thing that’s come out of it is it’s made law enforcement laser-focused,” he said.