Orange County judge clears UCF student who made comments about mass shooting

ORLANDO, Fla. — A UCF student who praised mass-shooters online has been determined not to be a threat and will be allowed to have a firearm returned. However, the attorney for the student said the family surrendered the firearm and will not take it back.

Circuit Judge Bob LeBlanc held a hearing Monday to determine if the student was a threat.

The student, whose name is a matter of public record, but who we are not identifying because he has not been criminally charged, made comments online before and after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

UCF police were alerted to the comments and subsequently tracked down the student.

According to court filings, the student called the Las Vegas shooter “my hero” and the Parkland school shooter “a hero."

Working with Orlando police, UCF police tracked down the student.

During questioning, the student, according to court papers, said if he was going to carry out a shooting he would think about Odyssey Middle School or Lake Nona High School.

But the student said he had done nothing to actually prepare for or plan such a shooting.

Based on these statements, police obtained a Violent Threat Restraining Order.  Under the order, the student was forced to turn over any firearms, in this case a weapon belonging to his farther, to which he had access.

The student’s attorney, Kendra Parris, told the judge, “in this case my client didn't make any threats, not by any definition in the state statutes, not in the federal statutes."

The student, who was evaluated at a mental health facility and released shortly after police interviewed him, could have been barred from possessing a firearm for an additional 12-months.

However, the judge lifted the temporary restraining order, clearing the way for the gun to be returned to the student’s father.