Police arrested a 15-year-old boy at his home in Volusia County, Florida, as he allegedly made an online threat to shoot up a school.
The student from Seabreeze High School recently posted a comment on a video game chat platform where he wrote, “I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum,”
The teen wrote in a Minecraft chat that was screenshotted and after his alleged threat during a gaming discussion on Discord, an anonymous on the messaging platform reported his comment to the FBI.
The name “Dalton Barnhart” is not his real name but it is a pseudonym of the teen. During his arrest, the mother of the teen told officers that her son was “just a little kid playing a video game” and that he shouldn’t be “treated like a terrorist” for making a joke.
“Yes, he’s 15 but he’s still a little boy,” she said. “He’s not one of the crazy people out there doing stuff … he shouldn’t be treated as though he is a terrorist or something just because he made a silly statement on a stupid video game.”
Detective Howard replied, “And all these kids keep getting arrested. That’s why the FBI and the local law enforcement are spending so much time on this, because how do we know he’s not going to be the kid from Parkland that he’s not going to be the next kid, the kid that shot up Sandy Hook. We don’t know that.”
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office released the body camera footage of the teen’s arrest as a warning, saying, “jokes or not, these types of comments are felonies under the law.”
The teen later admitted that he made the comment about shooting up his school on Discord but it was just a joke.
“After the mass violence we’ve seen in Florida and across the country, law enforcement officers have a responsibility to investigate and charge those who choose to make these types of threatening statements,” the sheriff’s office said on social media.
During the recorded encounter, the teen’s mother told one of the officers, “He’s just a little kid playing a video game.”