Broward County sheriff reports it arrested 16-year-old who made death threat to students, gets scathing response

Broward County sheriff’s office may have done the right thing on Tuesday by arresting a 16-year-old student who allegedly threatened to kill students. However, if reaction to the news is any indication, people aren’t so quick to let the department off the hook.

Broward County Sheriff Steve Israel has faced intense scrutiny since inserting himself into the limelight with multiple public appearances following the horrific Parkland mass shooting, which killed 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school.

One appearance particularly of note is Israel showing up at CNN’s so-called “town hall” to dress down the NRA and other gun rights supporters.

A day afterwards, it came out that the Broward County sheriff’s office response was a tragically inept disaster. Deputy Scot Peterson resigned abruptly on the day of the report ahead of a potentially damaging investigation. However, the humiliation was far from over.

On the following day, it came out that at least four sheriff’s deputies stood idle as suspected shooter Nikolas Cruz allegedly carried out a shooting rampage. This came on top of reports that show that Cruz was visited at least 39 times by Broward County police. The FBI was also lax in pursuing Cruz as a potential “professional school shooter.”

On Thursday, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office used its social outreach to report it had arrested a 16-year-old on suspicion of planning to murder students.

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“A 16-year-old Pompano Beach boy who threatened to kill students and had a pipe bomb in his home was arrested Monday night,” the tweet read. The full report:

A 16-year-old Pompano Beach boy who threatened to kill students and had a pipe bomb in his home was arrested Monday night.

Around 4 p.m. Feb. 26, the teen was playing an online video game when he made the alarming statement. A tipster called Boca Raton Police Department about the teen. The police investigated, and when they discovered the teen lived in Broward County, Boca Raton police notified the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

BSO deputies responded to the suspect’s Pompano Beach home and found a homemade pipe bomb and weapons. Deputies with BSO’s bomb squad, violent crimes and strategic investigations divisions responded, along with Homeland Security and the FBI.

The teen is facing a felony charge for possessing explosives.

BSO encourages everyone to continue reporting any suspected threats by calling 954-764-HELP (4357) or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477). Threats will be thoroughly investigated. Anyone found in violation of the law will be prosecuted to the fullest extent.

The news was not received especially well on social media.

There are formal calls for Sheriff Steve Israel, a hyper-political sheriff who is an avid Hillary Clinton supporter, to resign. A group of 74 lawmakers sent a scorching letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who said he would only suspend Israel pending the completion of a full investigation.

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Sheriff Israel appeared recently on CNN to refute the claim he issued a “stand down order” to deputies during the deadly shooting rampage. Israel did not deny the claim.

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Kyle Becker


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