A Florida 16-year-old is behind bars after threatening a mass shooting at his school on Snapchat.
According to deputies, on Thursday, November 3, 2022, Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) deputies arrested 16-year-old Jesse Jacob Vargas, 16, for Electronic Threat to Conduct a Mass Shooting.
At approximately 7:00 p.m., multiple concerned citizens located a video on the Snapchat app and reported it to the Sheriff’s Office.
The video shows Vargas standing in a room and stating, “I’m not going to lie, I’m tired of being stereotyped as a school shooter… I mean, if that’s what everybody wants…”
As Vargas finishes speaking, he raises his hand to show a firearm. Some of the citizens who saw the video were able to identify Vargas and identified him as a student a Belleview High School.
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Deputies immediately went to Vargas’ residence where they made contact with Vargas and his parents.
The firearm in the video was determined to be an Airsoft gun. When interviewed, Vargas claimed he made the video as a skit and wasn’t serious.
Vargas was placed under arrest, transported to the Marion County Jail, and then to the Department of Juvenile Justice for further processing.
Sheriff Billy Woods said, “Over 30 of my citizens called in after seeing this video that caused fear for the safety of children at Belleview High. We thank you, because when you saw something, you said something, and with your help we were able to quickly locate Vargas and take him into custody.”
Sheriff Woods added, “To my young citizens, you need to know that the law is clear: If you make a social media post that people reasonably interpret as a threat to commit a mass shooting, or to kill or harm another person, you have broken the law. And if you break the law like this, you should expect to be arrested.”