- Florida police say they arrested an 11-year-old who called in a fake school shooting.
- Police say the boy told a friend he wanted to leave school early.
- The boy faces charges of false reporting of a mass shooting and misuse of a 911 among other charges, police said.
Florida police arrested an 11-year-old who they say called in a fake school shooting on Tuesday because he wanted to leave school early.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that investigators discovered the boy made the false 911 report from a friend’s cell phone when the friend left his cell phone unattended. Before placing the call, the boy told his friend he “wanted to go home early,” police said.
Police arrested the boy on charges of false report of a mass shooting, utilizing a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony, disruption of a school function, and misuse of a 911 emergency system, the statement said. It’s unclear if the boy is being represented by an attorney.
In 911 audio released by police, a boy can be heard saying; “Help, there is a school shooter walking through the hallway.”
When the 911 operator asks the boy what school, he replies Marion Oaks and says he is in building two before quickly saying “he’s coming” and hanging up.
The total released audio lasted 43 seconds.
Police responded to the school after receiving the call at 9:39 a.m. on December 5 with a SWAT team, aviation unit, and K-9s, according to the statement.
During the evacuation and subsequent police search of the school, there were visible “fear levels” among students and teachers, police said.
“This student put fear into his fellow students, staff, and parents,” Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said. “For what? A prank? Because you wanted to go home?”
According to Woods, Florida law requires those who are convicted of filing false reports to pay restitution for the cost of the law enforcement response.
“In this case, (it) will equal hundreds upon hundreds of man-hours,” Woods said. “This young man is going to need to mow a lot of lawns to pay that bill.”