NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Florida woman says her son posted a joke on a video game chat room, but police are taking the allegations very seriously.
Now, authorities across the nation – including in the Tri-state area – are saying more threats are being discovered regularly as potential shooters are sharing their plans publicly.
“He’s just a little boy. He didn’t do anything wrong… He’s not one of the crazy people out there doing stuff.”
New body cam footage from Florida police shows a Daytona Beach mother pleading with officers who are arrested her 15-year-old son for allegedly threatening to kill seven people at his high school in the chat room.
“He’s under arrest currently for making a threat to cause a mass shooting, act of terror,” an officer said.
“But he shouldn’t be treated as though he’s a terrorist or something because he made a silly statement on a stupid video game!” the mother argued.
The FBI arrested a 38-year-old man who was allegedly planning a mass shooting at a church in Memphis this coming Thursday – after a tip from the suspect’s friend.
“A possible national tragedy was avoided because this young lady did the right thing,” Louis Brownlee of the Memphis Police Department said.
Over the weekend authorities say they foiled three separate potential mass shootings in three states, including Connecticut.
The suspects – all men in their 20s – stockpiled weapons before being arrested authorities say. In each case police, were tipped off by concerned citizens.
“They are getting more and more larger magazine holders and, most importantly, they’re telling people about it. They’re bragging about it. That’s where we can catch them,” Katherine Schweit, a former FBI senior official said.
On the CBS Evening News, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said more people seem to be reporting threats they see online.
“Eighty-eight percent of cases there’s what we call leakage. People are giving the signs, they’re making statements, writing social media postings that are tells, cues as to what they’re gonna do… Now people are stepping forward and trying to get help,” Miller explained.
After mass shootings earlier this month, President Trump said he favored meaningful background checks. On Tuesday, he also stressed mental health treatment.
“It is a mental problem and I’ve said it a hundred times it’s not the gun that pulls the trigger, it’s the person that pulls the trigger… We have very, very strong background checks right now,” the president said.
The president also spoke with NRA president Wayne Lapierre, who later tweeted
“we discussed the best ways to prevent these types of tragedies.”