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Hillsborough deputies charge an 18-year-old man with threatening a school shooting

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister at the podium
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Chad Chronister said the man posted the image as a "sick joke" but that any threat to schools is "no laughing matter."

The man posted a photo of himself in which he appeared to be armed with guns. The caption read, “Hey Siri, directions to the nearest school.”

Deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office arrested an 18-year-old man on Sunday for making threats online that suggested he was armed and planning to attack “the nearest school.”

Corey Anderson was arrested at a residence in Lutz and is charged with a written or electronic threat to conduct a mass shooting or act of terrorism, according to a press release issued by the sheriff’s office.

Detectives received a tip and, upon investigating, found that Anderson posted images of himself with what appeared to be a handgun, a rifle and a tactical style vast. Deputies say the caption of the photo read, “Hey Siri, directions to the nearest school.”

Detectives later determined the handgun and rifle were “airsoft guns.”

RELATED: Remembering the young victims of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting

The arrest comes days after an 18-year-old gunman murdered 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. That gunman was eventually killed by law enforcement at the scene. President Biden visited Uvalde on Sunday to comfort the mourning community.

Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said his office is continuing to investigate the “school-based threat.”

“This type of threat is unacceptable. This man intentionally instilled fear into our community as a sick joke, but be warned, this is no laughing matter,” said Chronister in a statement.

“We will do everything within our power to apprehend, and pursue charges on those who make school-based threats. Protecting students is our greatest priority. We take school threats very seriously, if you see something suspicious, please contact us immediately.”

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
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