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Teenager detained after making threat of violence against Taylor County High School

Subject taken to mental health facility
school threat
Posted at 11:34 AM, Jan 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-27 11:34:03-05

PERRY, Fla. (WTXL) — A 16-year-old male was detained by law enforcement officials after the Taylor County Sheriff's Office said the male made a threat of violence to occur Friday at Taylor County High School.

According to a post on the social media platform Facebook Friday morning, the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page, the county’s communications center received information Thursday regarding the planning of a shooting at a school in the county.

The sheriff’s office notes that the act was scheduled to happen Friday at Taylor County High School.

The sheriff’s office worked with the city of Perry Police Department and determined that the threat was made by one person.

The sheriff’s office said the male told his sister verbally Thursday evening not to attend school Friday because he was planning to conduct a shooting.

The male subject was detained by law enforcement officials.

During an interview with law enforcement, the male subject, who had previously been expelled from school, acknowledged to making the verbal threats, but did not communicate or transmit the threats electronically.

The sheriff's office notes that the male met the criteria for Baker Act and was taken into protective custody and transported to a mental health facility.

According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Baker Act or the Florida Mental Health Act, focuses on crisis services for individuals with mental illness, much like an emergency department is for individuals experiencing a medical emergency.

The department notes the Baker Act allows for an individual to be taken to a facility for involuntary examination if there is reason to believe the individual is mentally ill and they pose a serious threat to themselves or to others.

The sheriff's office notes that no criminal charges have been filed at this time.

Later Friday morning, Taylor County Schools District superintendent Alicia Beshears joined Taylor County Sheriff Wayne Padgett, Taylor County High School principal Heather McCoy, a member of the Taylor County Health Department and resource officer Sgt. Johnson at Taylor County High School in a video message.

“We appreciate those parents and students who reached out to Sgt. Johnson last night,” McCoy said in the video.

Padgett stressed in the video message that if anyone is aware of a threat or anything to contact the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office and the sheriff’s office will act.

“We take our children’s safety very seriously,” sheriff Padgett said in the video. “The threat was made. As soon as we received information, we acted on it. That threat has been taken care of. The children are no longer in danger. If you see something, say something. That is the message that we put out.”

The sheriff’s office requests anyone with additional information related to the incident to call them at 850-584-2429.