Amid a wave of arrests for threats of mass shootings, police in Florida released footage showing one mother’s reaction to her teenage son's being taken into custody.
The 15-year-old boy was arrested at his home Friday in Volusia County after allegedly writing online in a video game chat room, "I Dalton Barnhart vow to bring my fathers m15 to school and kill 7 people at a minimum," according to the county sheriff’s office, which posted a body-camera video of the arrest to its Facebook page on Monday.
The boy, who attends high school in Daytona Beach, was using a fake name in the threat and insisted to police that it was a joke.
“Jokes or not, these types of comments are felonies under law,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.
The boy's mother appears stunned and upset in the video, telling police, “But he’s just a little kid playing a video game.”
She also says her son’s threatening words online are normal behavior for young people playing video games.
“He’s just a little boy; he didn’t do anything wrong,” the mother says, crying. “He’s not one of the crazy people out there doing stuff, he shouldn't be treated like he is a terrorist.”
An officer at one point responds by referring to previous school shootings.
“How do we know he’s not going to be the kid from Parkland?" the officer says. "He’s not going to be the kid who shot up Sandy Hook? We don’t know that.”
“We can’t take risks,” another officer at the scene of the arrest says. “We can’t say, ‘Alright, we trust this guy isn’t going to do it’ and it happens and then we say, ‘Well, we had the chance to stop it.’”
When an officer asks the mother if she has a gun at home and she says yes, the officer says of her son, “He has hands and feet. He could grab your gun and do something,” the officer said.
The boy is seen in the video admitting to writing the threat, with officers saying he is under arrest for making a threat to cause a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.
This arrest comes among several of people suspected of threatening to commit mass shootings in the wake of the El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio massacres this month that left more than 30 people dead.
On the same day the Volusia County Sheriff's Office arrested the teenager seen in the video, the department also took into custody a 25 year-old from Daytona Beach for allegedly texting threats of a mass shooting, saying ‘“a good 100 kills would be nice.”
Last week, a 15 year-old girl in Fresno, California, was arrested after allegedly posting a Snapchat photo of a gun with the caption, “Don’t come to school tomorrow,” the Fresno Bee reported. And, police in Indianapolis tracked down truck driver Thomas Matthew McVicker, 38, after they were alerted that he was allegedly planning to shoot up a church in Tennessee.