Boy, 11, arrested after threatening to 'shoot up' Pembroke Pines middle school

Police say boy claimed he was frustrated about his school lessons

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – An 11-year-old boy was arrested Monday after he threatened to "shoot up" his Pembroke Pines middle school because he was frustrated about his lessons, police said.

Pembroke Pines police said the boy is a student at Walter C. Young Middle School.

Amanda Conwell, a spokeswoman for the Pembroke Pines Police Department, said the boy spontaneously said in class, "I'm going to shoot up the school." Conwell said when another student asked the boy if he was serious, he answered, "Maybe. Maybe not."

The student reported the incident to school administration, who notified police.

Conwell said the boy admitted to making the statements because he was frustrated about his school lessons. She said he did not have a gun or weapon at any time.

The boy was arrested on a second-degree felony charge of making a false report concerning the use of a firearm in a violent manner.

It was the third incident in less than a week involving threats made by students at Pembroke Pines schools, and the fourth incident this month.

Police said a 17-year-old boy, identified as Michael McCartney was arrested last Tuesday at Pembroke Pines Charter High School after making a joke that he left his gun in his car, and a 13-year-old boy was arrested Sunday after making a threat in an online group chat to shoot up Pines Middle School.

McCartney's mother spoke to Local 10 News Tuesday, saying things escalated too quickly and her son paid the price.

"This was not a conversation that my son was having by himself. He was with other students that he was speaking to and other students were also punished," she said. "It's very miserable right now, as you can see. Very miserable."

The incident happened right after a Code Red drill at the high school, according to police.

McCartney allegedly told his peers that he left his gun in his car and that they "get to live another day." 

Police said no weapons were found in McCartney's vehicle and the teen told authorities he was joking.

Another teenager was also hospitalized Sept. 6 under Florida's Baker Act after police said he posted pictures of a rifle and bullets on Snapchat with the text "Tomorrow." Students at West Broward High School were concerned because he used to attend the school, so they notified police.

According to a police report, the teen made several concerning searches on his iPhone. Police said most of the teen's searches were about weapons, but they also included searches about hanging, how far a sniper can shoot, how many people died in the Paris attack, who becomes president if the president dies and presidents who have been assassinated. 

About the Authors: