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Pinellas deputies arrest 15-year-old accused of threatening high school

The teen does not have any access to firearms or explosives, the sheriff's office said.

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Deputies arrested an East Lake High School student accused of sending a threatening message about a shooting and bomb detonation, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The 15-year-old was charged with written threats to kill or conduct a mass shooting, the agency said in a news release.

Law enforcement arrested the teen just after 11 p.m. Monday after another student who received the message reportedly posted a screenshot of it on Snapchat. Authorities then were told of the threat from 911 calls, the FortifyFL mobile app and other messages.

The 15-year-old admitted to deputies who went to the teen's house that they sent the message but said it was a joke, the sheriff's office said.

"Deputies confirmed [the teen] does not have access to any firearms or explosive devices and do not believe there is any ongoing threat to the school," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

The Pinellas County School District also provided the following statement:

"The safety of our students and staff is the top priority of Pinellas County Schools. We regularly encourage all students to report concerns about themselves or their peers to a trusted adult, by calling 911, or through the Say Something anonymous reporting system which is staffed by a trained crisis counselor 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

"Every report is thoroughly reviewed and acted upon as needed. Threatening harm to students or staff is no joke and will be met with serious consequences including arrest and expulsion."

Anyone with information about any threats is asked to call the sheriff's office at 727-582-6200 or use the FortifyFL app.

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