VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said a 15-year-old Florida high school student was arrested Friday after posting a comment on a video game chat platform threatening a mass shooting.
According to a post on the agency's Facebook page, the comment stated, "I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum."
The comment was reported to the FBI, and the FBI then contacted the local sheriff's office.
When they investigated, they learned that the name "Dalton Barnhart" was fake. The sheriff's office said the young man responsible for the comment insisted it was a joke.
"Joke or not, these types of comments are felonies under the law," the sheriff's office said in a written statement. "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."
Video posted on the Volusia County Sheriff's Office Facebook page shows deputies go to the boy's home on Aug. 16 and arrest him. The video also shows law enforcement explain to the boy's mother how serious threats of this nature are to the community.
"He's just a little boy!" the mother says in the video. "He didn't do anything wrong. He's not one of the crazy people. He shouldn't be treated as though he's a terrorist because he made a silly statement on a stupid video game."
The law enforcement officer in the video calmly tells the woman, "This is the world we live in."
The sheriff's office said the boy, whose name has not been released, will be charged as a juvenile.
The video has been shared more than 9,500 times since it was posted Monday.