Teen charged after posting school shooting threat on Instagram as 'joke'

Teen charged after posting school shooting threat on Instagram as 'joke'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Authorities have identified and charged a 13-year-old for a social media post threatening a shooting at Coulwood Middle School in northwest Charlotte, according to police.

The Instagram post shows a gun with a caption indicating a shooting would take place on Thursday at the school.

[ALSO READ: NC launches app allowing students to anonymously report school threats]

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Police said they tracked down the boy behind the post and went to his home, where they spoke with him and a parent.

The teen admitted to officers he created the post, but said it was a joke, according to CMPD.

Channel 9's Elsa Gillis talked to parents who don't find it funny.

Parent Anthony Samuel said his son saw the post Wednesday night and sent it to him.

"It's not funny, that keeps kid out of school, kids don't want to show up, I had my kids asking me last night do I have to go to school tomorrow?" said Samuel.

Samuel said he called police as soon as he got to work, and they had already gotten several calls.

The threat comes less than two weeks after another non-credible threat investigation at West Mecklenburg High School.

"This has to stop," said activist Charles Robinson.

Robinson is a member of the United Neighborhoods of Charlotte, a group working to reach out to the city's youth and cut down on violence.

"Those kids that want to play with those guns or take pictures with guns, hold them accountable," Robinson said. "It's creating an atmosphere of fear for these children and these families."

Parents said school threats are frightening for them and their kids.

"It's scary, I mean you have kids, you want to send them to a safe environment and to know that someone would be even if it's a hoax would be putting this out there it makes you uneasy to send your kids to school," Samuel said.

No guns were found in the teen's home, and police think he got the photo of the gun from the internet.

Extra officers were at the school on Thursday as a precaution.

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