Crime

Deputies investigate threat at Bayshore High

BRADENTON -- A threat written on the bathroom wall at Bayshore High School became the focus of a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office investigation Wednesday.

The message threatens that there will be a “shootout on Valentine’s Day” at the school, according to sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.

Deputies interviewed students Wednesday at the school. Bristow said he believes the threat is a hoax.

“We’re tracking the student that put the message on the wall,” Bristow said, adding that investigators believe they know who did it.

It’s unclear when the message was originally found. However, a number of law enforcement officers were on campus Wednesday morning. Bristow said they also will be at the school on Valentine’s Day.

“When you have something like this, you have to take it seriously,” Bristow said.

School district spokeswoman Margi Nanney said administrators feel confident that the whole incident is “an unfortunate prank.”

“When we began the investigation we took it very seriously,” Nanney said.

Bristow confirmed that in addition to the bathroom wall, a message went out on Facebook.

“I think it’s a moment when parents need to talk with their students about the improper use of the social media,” Nanney said.

School district officials “appreciate students coming forward” during the investigation, Nanney said.

She explained that a number of students came forward to answer questions.

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