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'Hit list' found at Port St. Lucie middle school, police chief says

7th grade student claims it was a joke, according to police
Port St. Lucie police cruiser generic 2022
Posted at 4:50 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 18:41:57-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Port St. Lucie police chief said a piece of paper with the words "hit list" written on it was found Thursday at a middle school.

Speaking during a news conference on Friday, Chief John Bolduc said a student had dropped the piece of paper on campus.

"We had one yesterday where a kid dropped a piece of paper and it said 'hit list' on it," Bolduc said. "And it didn't have names but it had groups of people on it."

The police department isn't releasing the name of the school where the incident happened, but a spokesman confirmed the student who dropped the note is in seventh grade.

The note didn't have specific people's names on it, but groups of people.

Officers made contact with the boy and his parents Thursday night at his home. A police department spokesman said the student told officers he wrote the note back in November and it was a joke.

There were no firearms found in the boy's home.

"'It's just a joke' isn't a good enough excuse for this. People take this very serious," Bolduc said.

The spokesman said the police department considers the threat to be "unfounded" and the student was not arrested.

Any disciplinary action will be decided by the school, police said.

"We get this stuff all the time. Kids think they're being funny. But it takes a lot of resources, costs a lot of money to investigate that," Bolduc said. "There's absolutely no way we can just say, this isn't anything and forget about it."

Bolduc said the "hit list" incident is a prime example of why it's so important for students, school staffers, and parents to report any suspicious behavior to authorities as soon as possible. One way to do so is through the free Fortify Florida app.

Earlier on Friday, a 15-year-old student at Treasure Coast High School was arrested after Port St. Lucie police said he was caught with a loaded handgun in his backpack.