An NFL player has been credited with helping prevent a potential school shooting. While visiting a former teammate in Texas last week, New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was alerted to a threatening comment that had been made on his Instagram page.
The user, who reached out to Edelmen under the username “jesseyi3,” told the football player, “Dude, there is a kid in your comment section says he s [sic] going to shoot up a school, i think you should alert the authority [sic].”
Since the gross failings of law enforcement to pick up numerous warnings from Parkland, Florida, school shooter Nikolas Cruz, police across the country have been stepping up their investigations into threats issued on social media.
When Edelman became aware of the comment, he immediately notified his assistant, Shannen Moen, who discovered the comment made by user “its_ya_boiii_aidan,” that read: “I’m going to shoot my school up watch the news.”
Moen called the police, and the message was subsequently tracked to a 14-year-old in Port Huron, Michigan, according to the New York Times. The young man admitted the threat, which was intended for his school, Central Middle School. He was then charged with a felony: making a false report of a threat of terrorism.
When police searched the boy’s house, they discovered two rifles that belonged to his mother.
“Any time someone makes a threat to shoot up a school or building, we take it very seriously,” Capt. Joseph Platzer of the Port Huron Police Department said, as reported by the New York Times.
Moen said that both her and Julian are very relieved and glad to have seen swift police action.
“When I told Julian, he was in shock,” Moen said. “We’re very lucky the Boston cops were all over it, very lucky the Michigan cops were all over it.”
Edelman reportedly wants to personally thank the Instagram user who alerted him to the threat. “Thankfully, this kid said something,” explained Edelman, who has starred in three Super Bowls with the Patriots during his eight-year N.F.L. career. “We’re going to send him something, a care package, just for his work. He’s the real hero.”
(H/T: The New York Times)