Pompano Beach teen arrested after threatening to kill students

Father describes Christopher McDonald, 16, as loner who dropped out of school

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – A 16-year-old Pompano Beach boy was arrested after threatening to kill students with a pipe bomb that was found in his home.

Christopher McDonald was playing a video game Monday when he made his threat, authorities said. A tipster notified police who discovered McDonald lived in Broward County.

The Broward Sheriff's Office bomb squad was called to McDonald's home Monday evening, along with Homeland Security and the FBI.

A homemade pipe bomb and multiple weapons were found inside the McDonald's home, authorities said.

"How it came out is that he had a tactical helmet, a bulletproof vest, an AK-47 and a couple of other guns," the teen's father, David McDonald, told Local 10 News. "It is a tactical paintball vest, all of the guns are airsoft guns and the only issue was this goofy pipe bomb that he made."

According to David McDonald, the pipe bomb was made of a one-inch galvanized pipe, capped with two ends and a shoe lace his son used as a wick.

"It has remnants of old fireworks in there," he said.

"Why would he have something like that?" Local 10 News reporter Roy Ramos asked.

"For fun," David McDonald said. "For decoration." 

Christopher McDonald, who is home-schooled, was arrested and charged with a felony for possession of explosives.

David McDonald described his son as a loner who dropped out of school in the eighth grade. He said his son is involved in video games, but a bad decision and what he described as showing off may have been all detectives needed to confiscate his guns and take him to jail.

"I am going to tell him that life is about choices and the consequences of those choices," the father said.  

The teen has since been hospitalized under the Baker Act and is expected to appear in court once he is discharged. 

About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.