13-year-old arrested after threatening to shoot up Pembroke Pines school, police say

Police: Teen told detectives post was intended as a joke

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - A 13-year-old boy was arrested Sunday after making a threat in an online group chat to shoot up Pines Middle School, authorities said.

According to a news release from the Pembroke Pines Police Department, about nine children were involved in a group chat on Instagram where the teen posted the threat.

Police said one of the children alerted authorities and detectives immediately began to investigate.

According to the news release, police went to the child's home and spoke to him and his parents.

During questioning, the boy confessed to making the threat, but said that it was intended as a joke, police said.

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

The incident came a week after another teen was arrested for a similar threat.

According to police, Michael McCartney, 17, told his classmates at Pembroke Pines Charter School that he left his gun in his car following a Code Red drill.

"You get to live another day," the teen allegedly told his peers.

Police said the teacher alerted the school's administration, who then contacted the school's school resource officer.

Police said the officer searched McCartney's vehicle, but found no weapons.

Police said the teen admitted to making the threat but said that it was just a joke and he didn't have any intention to do harm to anyone.

McCartney was ordered to be on home detention and to stay away from his school for the time being. 

"We are asking our local parents to please speak with your children about making threats of this nature," the police department said in the news release. "All threats made against our schools will be taken seriously, and will be swiftly investigated by our department. These are severe offenses, and any individual determined to have committed such acts will be charged accordingly. Please educate your children on the seriousness of these crimes, and help us prevent incidents like this from occurring in the future."

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