Teen taken into protective custody for alleged school shooting threat toward Taylor County High School

Authorities said after speaking with the teen, he admitted to the threat and explained he acted alone.
Taylor County High School
Taylor County High School(Savannah Kelley | WCTV)
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 9:15 AM EST
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PERRY, Fla. (WCTV) - A 16-year-old boy admitted to making a school shooting threat toward Taylor County High School, according to the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.

This all started after the boy told students that attend Taylor County High School that he was going to “shoot up the school.” From there, the threat allegedly continued to circulate amongst students via text messages and social media.

TCSO said the 911 center received a call around 9:45 p.m. Thursday night that someone was planning the shooting, but didn’t know the identity of any suspects. The caller did provide deputies with the names of individuals who they thought could help identify the person behind it.

TCSO said deputies later worked with the Perry Police Department to track down the teen’s home, and they were later told by his sister that he instructed her not to go to school on Friday (1/27), because of his plan to act on the shooting.

A short time later, law enforcement found the teen and detained him. At the time of being detained, he did not have any weapons on him according to TCSO. Authorities said after speaking with the teen, he admitted to the threat and explained he acted alone.

Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett said this behavior will not be tolerated in Taylor County.

“Don’t threaten our schools, don’t threaten our children. We take the safety of our children very seriously. If you make a threat, it will be dealt with swiftly and accordingly. So, don’t threaten our children,” said Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett.

Officials determined the teen met the criteria to be taken to a mental health facility under the Baker Act.

TCSO said the 16-year-old had been previously expelled from school.

The teen’s father told authorities he did not have access to any firearms inside the home, according to TCSO.

TCSO and the Perry Police Department have planned to increase their presence at the high school on Friday.

Taylor County Schools Superintendent Alicia Beshears said at least one-third of the students at Taylor County High School didn’t come to school at all on Friday or their parents removed them from class. This is something she said she understood.

“I am also a parent and though I believe we did everything by the book and our law enforcement agencies removed the threat and that our students were in no way in danger, I’m a parent also and I do understand that they are following their gut and they have the right to do so,” said Taylor County Schools Superintendent Alicia Beshears.

Beshears reminded every parent or student who sees something to say something.

“Just remind them if they see something or hear something, or they feel like something is off, even if it’s just a little bit, we would rather know and go overboard than not know and have the chance that something really horrible happening because we like our kids,” Beshears said.

No charges have been filed against the teen.

In December 2022, a Taylor County Middle School student was arrested for allegedly compiling a list of names along with threats to do harm to those on the list.