ARCADIA — A 13-year-old has been arrested for allegedly reposting a threatening image toward DeSoto County schools.
The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest on its Facebook page Monday afternoon.
“When the original threat of a school shooting was made, DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office investigators determined it originated out of state and was not specific to DeSoto County Schools,” read the post.
However, DCSO alleged that the original image was altered and then reposted by the 13-year-old suspect.
This act caused “untold amounts of stress for parents, students and school officials,” according to authorities.
The suspect was arrested Monday morning and booked into DeSoto County Jail. He has been charged with one count of felony intimidation by sending a written threat to conduct a mass shooting.
DCSO previously reported about the online threat on Sunday, sharing an image of the threat on social media.
The image contains a warning sign and the text: “Don’t go to school on monday.” Various other statements are imposed over the image, presumably responses including “That shooting is going to happen” and “y’all some f---ing goofys.”
The Sheriff’s Office said at the time it was working with counterparts in the Federal Bureau of Investigation to evaluate the validity of the threat. It also stated that “(a)ny reposting or sharing of a post referencing an act of violence” would also constitute a criminal act.
“Be aware, anyone who captures, re-posts or causes further proliferation of any post threatening violence may be committing a crime and is subject to arrest,” read the DCSO post from Monday.
The School District of DeSoto County released a statement on Monday afternoon about the situation.
It said there are “other threats” still under active investigation.
“The DeSoto County School District appreciates the time and hard work that both Law Enforcement Agencies have put in to ensure that our staff and students are safe,” it said. “As a precautionary measure, we will continue to have an increased presence of Law Enforcement at the schools.”
It thanked the community for assisting with information “to help us get back to educating our students.”
Students who come across threats online are asked to tell their parents or the DCS School Resource Officer/Deputy. Parents are asked to contact the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office about such threats by calling 863-993-4700, or dialing 911 in an emergency.