Deltona, FL - The Volusia Sheriff's Office (VSO) says a 15-year-old student is facing charges after he made fake gun threats that locked down Pine Ridge High School Wednesday (October 28th).
The first threat was received through the FortifyFL service around 11 a.m., saying "the country kid with a blue backpack and brown hair said he had a gun, a glock 19 to be exact." Shortly after the first was received, two more messages were received through FortifyFL. The second came around 1:00 p.m., stating "Guess What!!!! I’m still here. Yall stupid as hell. (sic) eat this glock bitch. Damn I can see you deputy’s. but yall can’t find shit."
The third tip arrived shortly before 2:00 that afternoon, saying "Yo yo yo homie I seen that gun again he switched backpacks yall betta be ready cuz when the strap gets pulled out we all gon to hell." VSO says deputies searched the school for over an hour, but found nothing.
The following day, investigators and school administrators worked to find out where exactly those threats came from. Eventually, detectives identified a student named Christopher Davis as the fraudulent tipster. According to investigators, Davis denied any involvement at first, but later confessed that he sent the tips as a joke.
"False tips not only disrupted the school day but also created fear among our students, families, and staff members,” said the Volusia County Schools' Director of Safety and Security, Chief Michelle Newman. “Students must be reminded that the FortifyFL app was created after the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting to report legitimate threats and concerns within our schools and not to be used as a prank"
Newman added that any tips submitted through the app is thoroughly vetted and investigated and any students making false tips will face serious consequences.
Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood, who also responded to the school's campus after the threats were made, praised all involved for the response—despite the whole thing being a hoax.
"The fast and thorough response to this call was exactly what we ask of our deputies and school security staff,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the way we worked as a team to go after a potential threat against our students. Thankfully, it was just another hoax. But we’re not going to let idiotic pranks lull us into complacency. I’m grateful for all the hard work that went into tracking down the source and holding him accountable for his boneheaded actions."
Davis was arrested and charged thrice with making a false report of a bomb or explosive weapon of mass destruction, a felony. Following his arrest, he was transported to the Volusia Regional Juvenile Detention Center.