OCALA, Fla. — A local high school student is facing a felony charge after police say they had to respond to a report of a school shooting Wednesday that turned out to be false.
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According to the police department, a Trinity Catholic High School student used another student’s iPad to send an email to that student’s mother claiming there was a shooting taking place at the school.
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Police say the mother called 9-1-1 to report the supposed shooting. However, as officers responded- and while the mother was still on the 9-1-1 call- she received another email from her child saying another student had sent the previous email and there was no shooting at the school.
Officers continued their response to the school and confirmed there was no actual threat, then turned their attention to investigating the source of the hoax.
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They identified a 15-year-old female student as the one responsible for sending the email and charged her with making a false report concerning the use of firearms in a violent manner, a second-degree felony.
HIGH SCHOOL TEEN ARRESTED AFTER MAKING HOAX SCHOOL SHOOTING CLAIM: https://t.co/7wxIxcDTb1 pic.twitter.com/TZDCiJq0ae— Ocala Police (@ocalapd) April 19, 2023
In a statement, the police department commended the actions of the mother who received the initial email for her reporting of the threat. They went on to encourage other parents to talk with their children about reporting suspicious activity.
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“We take threats like this very seriously and will not hesitate to take action against those who seek to cause harm or create panic in our community,” the police department’s statement said. “We want to remind everyone that making threats like this, even as a joke, is never acceptable. It causes undue stress and anxiety for those involved, wastes valuable resources, and diverts our attention from real emergencies.”
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