A Florida man posted images of himself suggesting he was heavily armed and headed to the “nearest school,” according to authorities over the weekend.
Corey Anderson, 18, was arrested Sunday at a home in Lutz after authorities received a tip earlier in the day that he had made the online threat while posting photos of himself with what appeared to be a rifle, handgun and tactical-style vest, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
The photo was accompanied by a caption that read, “Hey Siri, directions to the nearest school,” authorities said.
A subsequent investigation determined that the handgun and rifle were airsoft guns, which shoot pellets rather than bullets.
“This type of threat is unacceptable,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement Sunday. “This man intentionally instilled fear into our community as a sick joke, but be warned, this is no laughing matter.”
Deputies will pursue anyone who makes school-based threats, Chronister said.
“Protecting students is our greatest priority,” the sheriff said. “We take school threats very seriously. If you see something suspicious, please contact us immediately.”
Anderson of Lutz was charged with threatening to conduct a mass shooting or act of terrorism. His bond was set at $7,500. Anderson was no longer listed as in custody early Monday, jail records show. It’s unclear if he’s hired a lawyer.
Anderson was taken into custody one day after a 10-year-old Florida boy allegedly threatened in text messages to pull off a mass shooting at his school. The Post is withholding the name of the fifth-grader at Patriot Elementary School in Cape Coral because he’s a minor.
“This student’s behavior is sickening, especially after the recent tragedy in Uvalde, Texas,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said in a statement regarding the young boy. “Making sure our children are safe is paramount.”
The threats came just days after a gunman stormed into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, with a pair of AR-15-style rifles and killed 19 fourth-graders and two teachers on Tuesday. The massacre was the deadliest school shooting since 26 people — including 20 students — were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in December 2012.
President Biden privately mourned with the families of the Uvalde victims Sunday while pledging to take action amid chants of “do something” by a crowd of about 100 people as he departed a church.
“To everyone impacted by the horrific elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas: We grieve with you,” Biden tweeted Sunday. “We pray with you. We stand with you. And we’re committed to turning this pain into action.”
With Post wires