A Florida man was arrested for allegedly trying to hire a hit man to kill a faculty member at his high school, authorities said Friday.
Nicholas Robert Godfrey, an 18-year-old senior at Fivay High School, about 40 miles north of Tampa, was charged with first-degree attempt to solicit murder, Pasco County Sheriff's deputies said.
Detectives said they have messages Godfrey wrote on Instagram seeking a professional killer.
“I need a guy who could kill someone,” Godfrey allegedly wrote in one of the messages, offering $100,000 "for the guy's head."
“No joke, I need him eliminated as soon as possible."
Even if Godfrey had no real intentions of killing the school staffer, the threat is itself a serious crime, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
"As the victim and their family, imagine getting that notification form the sheriff's office, 'Hey we need to protect you,' " Nocco told reporters on Friday. "This individual may have thought it was funny, maybe thought they were committing a joke. This is not a joke."
The student doesn't have a discipline record and there were no documented issues he and intended target, officials said.
The school employee was not identified and Det. David Dacey would only say the target was a "faculty member."
It was not immediately clear if Godfrey had hired an attorney by Friday afternoon. He was arrested at his home in New Port Richey on Thursday and released on bail on Friday.
"It ruined his life by a simple threat on social media," Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning said. "I was elated that we had apprehended him but very saddened, very saddened by what this young man has just done to the rest of his life."