New Details: Cape Coral 5th grader’s mass shooting threat against a school

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
5th grader school threat
(Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

WINK News is learning more about the arrest of a 10-year-old boy accused of making a threat against a Cape Coral elementary school.

It comes days after 19 children and two teachers were killed at a Texas elementary school. The child who was arrested is the same age as those victims.

WINK News was able to obtain an arrest report, and in it, the deputy or detective who wrote it says the boy threatened a mass shooting at his school and did so in a series of text messages.

The 10-year-old is in juvenile detention, accused of threatening a mass shooting at Patriot Elementary in Cape Coral.

“It is nerve-wracking to know that a 10-year-old or 11-year-old would think of something like that, but my thoughts are, you know, like, what was he really thinking?” said Jillian Hensley, a Patriot Elementary parent.

The arrest report says the child texted someone photos of cash and four AR-15 rifles. They warned, “get ready for water day.”

“Kids do things because they want attention, be bad attention, or be at good attention. They want attention. So he got it. Unfortunately,” said David Thomas with FGCU.

Thomas is a mental health expert with FGCU. He also worked for the court in charge of alternative programs.

He said it’s one thing for the sheriff’s office to make the arrest, but it will be another thing to keep him in custody.

“So the question the state’s going to have to figure out is, Is he competent? Or does it say he really doesn’t rise to the level of being able to make those decisions?” said Thomas.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said this child made a fake threat with real consequences.

In an interview with W Radio, a Colombian-based radio station with an affiliate in Miami, he said, “While I understand the boy is 10 years old, his brain’s not fully developed. He’s a juvenile. When a 10-year-old presses the trigger, the aftermath is the same regardless of the age.”

WINK News is not identifying the boy because of his age, but the sheriff routinely does name kids and post their pictures on their Facebook page.

Many people commented that they don’t agree with that.

The sheriff’s office said Sheriff Marceno will talk about the arrest Tuesday morning.

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