A 13-year-old student who attends R. Dan Nolan Middle School in Lakewood Ranch has been arrested after police say he made threats of violence against another student over a phone application.
The threatening exchange happened around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, according to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect and another student called each other names and traded verbal threats over live-stream video in an app called House Party, according to the sheriff’s office.
The app allows multiple users to communicate via video at once, and there were others on the call to witness the conversation.
Following the threatening exchange, the victim exited the app, while the suspect and others remained connected.
That’s when things escalated, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to other witnesses on the call, the suspect made more threats against the victim while rubbing knives together. He then flashed a gun and said that he was going to “shoot up” the other student.
Word of the threat reached the sheriff’s office through FortifyFL, an app used for reporting suspicious activity, as well as a 911 phone call from a parent. Several parents also contacted Nolan Middle School on Thursday morning to inform school administration of the threats.
As rumor of the threat spread, several parents came back to the school to pick up their children, according to the sheriff’s office.
However, the suspect never made it into the school.
He was stopped by a MCSO school resource officer as he got off a school bus around 9:10 a.m. Thursday.
He is charged with a false report concerning the use of firearms in a violent manner, according to the sheriff’s office. His name was not released.
Deputies searched a vehicle and two residences for weapons in relation to the case; they recovered a long rifle pellet gun.