According to the Broward County Sheriff's office, a 16-year-old boy from Pompano Beach had threatened to kill fellow students with a pipe bomb in his possession. He was arrested on Monday night. At approximately, 4 p.m., the boy was playing an online video game when he issued the deadly threat. After Boca Raton police received a tip about the teen, they notified the Broward County sheriff's office.
Broward County deputies went to the teenager's home in Pompano Beach, where they found a pipe bomb and several other weapons. A bomb squad responded, as well as the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Broward County Sheriff’s office reports that the teen has a prior arrest. Authorities have not released the name of the boy charged.
The teenaged boy is now facing a felony charge for possessing explosives. Reportedly, he was taken to a local hospital for evaluation on Monday night.
According CBS4 News, the boy’s father, David McDonald -- as reported by CBS4 news -- told reporter Peter D’Oench, “The report from the authorities is all alleged. Talk to the police. They will tell you the same thing too.” The father would not volunteer any information about what his son may have been doing, saying, “I have no comment at all.” Neighbors were frightened by the developments. Some claim that the boy was homeschooled.
While the teen was to have a court appearance at the Broward County courthouse, he was reportedly taken to a hospital for a medical examination. In Florida, the Mental Health Act of 1971, commonly known as the "Baker Act," allows the involuntary institutionalization and medical examination of an individual. No date has been set for a hearing.
Since the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the Broward County sheriff’s office has arrested at least two other young persons for online threats. A 13-year-old girl was charged on Feb. 20 with a felony count of intimidation after she allegedly posted threat on Instagram to kill students at Central Charter School in nearby Lauderdale Lakes. A Lauderhill boy, 15, was arrested on Feb.16 for allegedly issuing threats on Instagram to kill people at area schools. He claimed that it was merely a joke.
In the case of confessed killer Nikolas Cruz, who killed 17 students and staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, law enforcement and school officials have been called into question over their handling of him before the tragedy. Politicians have called for the resignation of Broward County sheriff Scott Israel over the alleged failure of deputies on the scene of the massacre to respond appropriately to neutralize the shooter.
Cruz was expelled from the high school last year after bringing knives to school and making threats. Reportedly, he had been receiving mental health services and was on medication. The FBI is now conducting a review of its failure to notify local authorities of notifications it had received in the months and weeks before the shooting that Cruz presented a risk to the community. The State of Florida is conducting an investigation of the Broward County Sheriff's office.