A Florida woman has been arrested for threatening to carry out a shooting at a her children’s new elementary school.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s officials said they arrested 28-year-old Miranda Perez of Lake Worth Sunday, Aug. 12 on an intimidation charge for threatening a shooting at Barton Elementary, reported Miami Herald.
Perez was booked into county jail and will undergo a mental-health evaluation, court records show. She is being held on a $5,000 bond.
Andrew Broome, a friend of Perez, contacted the county sheriff’s office on Sunday morning after Perez told him she would shoot up the school in a video chat on Facebook. Broome told officials that Perez was angry that her children were re-zoned, along with hundreds of other students, to a different elementary school this year. Broome said Perez also told him she wanted to befriend Zachary Cruz on Facebook because “she likes violent things.”
Zachary Cruz is the brother of Nikolas Cruz, who shot and killed 14 students and three staff members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last year.
When the video chat ended, Perez reportedly wrote to Broome on Facebook Messenger: “I’m thinking of doing a school shooting at Barton,” followed by “Yep. It’s there [sic] fault,” referring to her children’s new school.
Perez admitted to sending the messages and that she did think about shooting up the school, but insisted they were only empty threats, reported Miami Herald.
Palm Beach County’s School Board introduced a resolution earlier this year aimed to help alleviate overcrowding at various schools by shuffling attendances. A comparison of the school board’s plan with Perez’s Lake Worth address shows that she was one of the many families affected by the change. The resolution meant that about 400 students had to change schools, reported the Herald.
Florida Man Arrested For Threatening To Shoot Up Walmart
A Walmart was evacuated earlier this month after receiving a mass shooting threat, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Police records that an employee at the Gibsonton Walmart received a phone call around 1:17 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 4 made by a man who said he would be at the store “in five minutes” and was going to “shoot up your store.” The management immediately called 911 and began evacuating shoppers.
Police arrived at the store within two minutes and made sure everyone had evacuated the Walmart safely. The threat was made just one day after the shooting in El Paso, Texas, which was also at a Walmart, that took the lives of 22 people and injured 24 others.
You can help protect our community, be mindful of your surroundings, report suspicious activities, 813.247.8200, emergencies dial 911. I have to commend @Walmart and their Gibsonton store employee for immediately calling 911 after receiving an active shooter threat yesterday. pic.twitter.com/Nd0jSsbLFj
— Chad Chronister (@ChadChronister) August 5, 2019
“I couldn’t be prouder of our deputies and their response,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister, according to the news release. “They arrived within moments and immediately gained control of this chaotic scene.”
The investigators were able to locate the source of the phone call and arrested 31-year-old Wayne Lee Padgett of Valrico. Padgett admitted to blocking his number, calling the Walmart, and later deleting his call history. He is now charged with a felony in connection with the false threat.
“These criminals that seek to make us afraid to go shopping, to the movies, concerts, work and school are nothing but terrorists,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister.” This type of behavior will not be tolerated. We will pursue justice to the fullest extent of the law.”
Padgett is unemployed and has no criminal history. Investigators said they found no firearms at his residence.