The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 19-year-old Marathon man Saturday on charges related to online threats police said he made toward Marathon High School in the wake of Wednesday’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.
Duviel Gonzalez faces a felony charge of written threats to kill or do bodily injury. He was also booked on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.
The Sheriff’s Office, FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations arrested Gonzalez after receiving several tips Saturday morning from people who saw posts on Instagram showing him holding guns and threatening to do harm to people at the school, said Adam Linhardt, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s Office Detective Rosemary Ponce was able to locate Gonzalez’s IP address after contacting Facebook, which is the parent company of Instagram, Linhardt said.
According to a Sheriff’s Office press release, Gonzalez told police he made the post as a joke.
Sheriff Rick Ramsay said he is impressed by the number of people who called in to report the threatening Instagram post.
“We always tell our citizens, ‘If you see something, say something,’” Ramsay said in a statement. “The fact that you are all communicating with your kids and monitoring them on social media and are aware of what is happening is impressive.”
The threat was particularly concerning because of a band event at the high school scheduled for Saturday afternoon. The event went on as planned, but with extra Sheriff’s Office deputy’s, including Ramsay, as well as Florida Highway Patrol troopers and officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. He confessed to shooting dead 14 students, the school’s athletic director, a coach and a geography teacher at the school on Wednesday.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen