VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A 14-year-old student has been taken into custody by Volusia County deputies after witnesses said he threatened to bring a gun to school and shoot people.
According to deputies, a tip came in through Fortify Florida about a student who had threatened to conduct a school shooting at New Smyrna Beach Middle School if an unknown video of him was released. Witnesses identified the boy as Damian Hernandez-Rodriguez.
One witness stated to deputies that Rodriguez had said in the past that he was going to bring his father's Glock handgun to school, kill other people, and kill himself because he is "pissed off."
When questioned by authorities, deputies say that Rodriguez claimed that he was just joking because "he was trying to look cool." He also reportedly denied knowing anything about a video. Deputies say that Rodriguez eventually admitted to them that he did tell the witness he was going to shoot up the school.
"Damian Rodriguez's father, Santiago Hernandez, stated he has firearms in the home, however, they are in a locked safe and disabled," the sheriff's office said.
Rodriguez was taken into custody.
Parents received a voicemail from New Smyrna Beach Middle School President Michael Leader.
"These threats are not taken lightly. We are grateful to the students who heard something and reported it," he said. "Please take the opportunity to speak to your students about the seriousness of making these comments. Please also remind your students that if they see something, say something."
Extra patrols were on campus Tuesday as a precaution.