FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A teenage boy is facing a felony charge in Broward County after recently causing a scare with a graphic of a cat holding a rifle and a message that read, “Flanagans gonna get shoot up.”
Police officers arrested the 16-year-old boy for sending threats to his high school that he described as a joke, The Pembroke Pines Police Department announced Wednesday afternoon.
Police officers received reports about the “threatening” graphic on March 9 and responded to Charles W. Flanagan High School, at 12800 Taft St., in Pembroke Pines.
“Whether written as a joke or as a prank, all threats made against our schools are taken seriously and will be investigated by police officers. Making threats of this nature is a serious offense and any individual who commits these acts will be arrested and charged accordingly,” Amanda Conwell, a spokeswoman for the police department, wrote in a statement.
The teenage boy is a former student at the high school, and he was visiting relatives out of state when he shared the graphic, according to police. He is facing one count of written threats to conduct a mass shooting.
“We urge all parents to please speak with your children about the severe consequences of making threats toward a school campus, students, or staff,” Conwell wrote. “Our community is encouraged to report any suspicious statements or threatening messages to police.”
Zamaria Pittman was among the Charles W. Flanagan students who said they decided to not go to school on Friday after seeing the graphic.
“You shouldn’t do things like that because it really does scare people,” Zamaria said.
Yesenia Munoz, a mother at Charles W. Flanagan, said fear over the perceived threat also concerned the parents.
“Whatever kids are doing is a consequence of the education in their homes,” Munoz said.