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Matanzas High Student Fabricates Gun Incident, But School’s “Security Status” Was Not Changed

| November 9, 2017

The 17-year-old student who made a false report of a gun sighting in the back parking lot of the school today was never seen on video surveillance in the parking lot. He was seen only going in and out of the dining hall. (© FlaglerLive)

The 17-year-old student who made a false report of a gun sighting in the back parking lot of the school today was never seen on video surveillance in the parking lot. He was seen only going in and out of the dining hall. (© FlaglerLive)

A Matanzas High School student’s fabrication of a gun sighting on campus around noon today led to a localized lockdown in the school’s parking lot, car searches and a lot of police activity on campus. But there was never a gun.


A little after noon today at Matanzas, a 17-year-old student approached Dan Toblin, an iFlagler teacher at the school, and told him that he saw a male student with a gun in the school’s back parking lot.

Toblin took the 17-year-old to the school resource deputy, to whom the student repeated the claim: that “he was walking in the back parking lot,” according to a sheriff’s report, “and he observed a white male standing near a a car and the male was holding a gun in his hand.” (The reporting student is black.) Further, he told the deputy, he saw the male put the gun back into a car and walk away.

The 17 year old said he did not know who the other student was. Nor could he describe the vehicle he saw him place the gun in.

The deputy contacted a sheriff’s sergeant, leading to several units swarming onto campus, and secured the row of cars the student had alleged seeing the other student in. The parking lot was locked down. The reporting student made a written report.

But as a deputy examined video surveillance to see if the alleged gun handler could be identified, he noticed that the student who’d reported the alleged incident could not be seen anywhere in the parking lot at the time he said he’d been there. The only time he’s seen on any video is when he walks into the dining hall around 8 a.m., stays there a few minutes, and leaves.

School administrators located the owners of all the vehicles under suspicion and all the vehicles were searched. Nothing turned up.

When a sheriff’s detective interviewed the 17 year old, the student told him he’d made it all up. He was charged with a misdemeanor, booked at the Flagler County jail but immediately released to his parents. He is likely to face additional disciplinary action from the school.

The school’s interiors were never on lockdown and students were not made aware of the nature of the incident that was animating campus with cops.

Jeff Reaves, the Matanzas principal, addressed parents in an automated call at 1:30 p.m., though never mentioning the gun specifically. “Earlier today a student reported a possible campus safety incident to a member of our faculty,” Reaves said. “Once that was done, our safety procedures immediately went into place. Our school resource deputy alerted additional deputies. They quickly determined that the threat was not credible.” Because of the swiftness of the response, he said there was no need to change the security status of the school as a result. “Had there been a need to change our security status today, it most certainly would have happened,” he added.

“We take all reported incidents seriously,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement issued this evening. “We moved quickly to ensure the safety of the students and teachers, and put a lot of resources into this investigation. Ultimately, the report was unfounded, which we are grateful for; however, filing a false report is against the law and a waste of taxpayer dollars.”

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6 Responses for “Matanzas High Student Fabricates Gun Incident, But School’s “Security Status” Was Not Changed”

  1. Brian says:

    I’d monitor this shifty kid closely; looks like he may be ready to make a move and wanted to test the system….

  2. Chris A Pickett says:

    Charge the parents to cover the funds used in this hoax as am sure some resources were used and money was spent on it.

  3. JasonB says:

    Why bother with calling the police? The Republicans have already as much said that the occasional massacre is the price we have to pay for our glorious (and untouchable) second amendment. I gave up caring after Sandy Hook, if a bunch of six year olds with their faces blown off didn’t convince this country to get serious about mental health services, or better background checks, or something … anything, than why bother being upset about it …. The Republicans have redefined what it is to be American; Mom, apple pie, baseball, and mass shootings

  4. woody says:

    What a waste of taxpayer money hold punk and parents responsible.

  5. Yourstruly says:

    Brian, I have to agree with you. Monitor this punk

  6. Peggy101 says:

    I totally agree with making the kid or the parent responsible for the money the city is out because of the stunt. I can’t believe they basically gave him a slap on the wrist. Now it’s opened up a can of worms for the next one who tries a stunt like this. SMH

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