A Florida teen is accused of offering money to have a high school employee killed, prompting police to arrest the student, WFTS-TV reports.
The teenager, 18-year-old Nicholas Godfrey, has been charged with attempting to solicit murder after sending an Instagram message to another student at Fivay High School in Pasco County, Florida.
Godfrey indicated that he would pay the peer $100,000 to murder the staffer.
“I need a guy who could kill someone,” Godfrey wrote. “No joke, I need him eliminated as soon as possible.”
But when investigators were alerted and tracked Godfrey down, he claimed he was joking.
Police showed up at Godfrey’s residence and he admitted to sending the messages and voluntarily showed him his phone. But he said he was not serious about going through with the plan.
“After speaking with Mr. Godfrey, he did not have any clear direction or, I guess, plan to follow through with this … but more he was joking around,” Pasco County Detective David Dacey told the television station.
It was also apparent that Godfrey did not have the resources to make good on the offer. Even so, authorities said he broke the law.
“There’s going to be zero tolerance,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told the television station. “You threatened a member of a school district who’s out there trying to do their job to educate children and be part of that process, we’re going to come hunt you down.
“We will track you down. The very sad part of the situation is that when the investigators, when Detective Dacey got there, the parents were shocked because the parents had no idea, and that’s a sad reality of what’s going on.”
Echoing that statement, Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning said parents need to monitor what their children are doing online.
“I have pled with parents to know what your kids are doing on social media and who they’re talking to. It’s a community effort.” Browning told WFTS-TV. “The issues at Fivay High School, I will tell you, oftentimes schools get blamed for what’s going on, but I will tell you we are a microcosm of the communities in which we serve.”
Authorities have not identified the employee who was the target of the threat, but he was given protection as a result.
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[Feature Photo: Nicholas Godfrey/Pasco County Sheriff’s Office]