12-Year-Old Student Arrested for ‘School Shooting’ Threat Text Messages

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies assigned to the School Resource Unit have arrested a Seminole Middle School student for threatening a school shooting.

According to investigators, at 10:41 a.m. today, Monday, January 11, 2021, 12-year-old Laybin Yokley sent a text message threatening a school shooting.

The text, which was sent to his friend, stated, “hi. It’s me. Ima shoot up the school.”

The person who received the message went to school administrators immediately and reported the text messages. School administrators and the school resource deputy made contact with Yokley and removed him from class.

Yokley admitted to sending the text message as a joke to his friend using the messaging app “Text Now.” He was arrested and charged with Threatening Communications or Threats of Mass Shooting and transported to the Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center.

Seminole Middle and other area schools were already on high alert from a Snapchat message indicating a school shooting would take place today.

Detectives are actively investigating that threat and, at this time, do not believe the two incidents are related.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office offers a Social Media resource to parents called, “A Toolbox for Parents.” The toolbox provides resources to help parents in protecting their families while online and can be found at www.pcsoweb.com.

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