BOCA RATON, Fla. — Students at Palm Beach State College are breathing a sigh of relief after a fellow student was arrested for threatening a mass shooting online.
“It’s horrible that it’s happening, and it’s even more horrible to know that it’s happening somewhere near and dear to your heart, like this campus that I love so much,” said student Tyler Rickerds.
Saul Jean, 24, a student at Palm Beach State College, was arrested for making online threats to commit a massacre and then take his own life.
“There are three other schools here, not just Palm Beach [State]Kayla Barrios said. “There’s Henderson which is K through 8, and then there’s FAU, so it would be a horrible and terrifying experience if it actually happened.”
Palm Beach State College released a statement Sunday saying:
Palm Beach State College takes all threats of violence seriously. The college has activated its partnership with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Behavioral Services Unit, which investigates these types of threats. The outcome of this situation proves that this process works.
We are grateful for the quick actions of our campus security personnel and the Palm Beach County Sheriff, who acted quickly to make the arrest. We will continue to be vigilant in our work to protect our campuses.
“For whatever reason with social media, they can get on social media and make these comments and think no one’s going to find them,” said Tim Enos, a member of the School Safety Advocacy Council’s advisory board.
Enos said that unfortunately school shootings and threats of shootings have become all too common.
“You can no longer say ‘kids are kids’ or ‘he doesn’t mean it,'” Enos said. “You have to check every little thing because we know that in the past, 100% of the time, someone knew before a school shooting and didn’t come forward and that’s fellowship number one.”
Enos said communication through strong ties will help prevent future shootings like this one.
“It always comes down to the human component,” Enos said. “That somebody who sees it or somebody who’s been told it’s going to happen, that they’re going to come out and tell somebody and that person has the tools to make sure they can prevent it.”