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Broward sheriff: We're watching for copycat pranksters after school shooting and offenders will get maximum charges

  • Copycat threats have occurred in Broward County, Florida, following the massacre at a Parkland high school.
  • Broward County's sheriff promises that these threats will be taken seriously and offenders will face maximum charges.
Scott Israel (L), Sheriff of Broward County, and Florida Governor Rick Scott speak to the media as they visit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School following a shooting that killed 17 people on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida.
Gaston de Cardenas | AFP | Getty Images
Scott Israel (L), Sheriff of Broward County, and Florida Governor Rick Scott speak to the media as they visit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School following a shooting that killed 17 people on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida.

"Copycat" threats were made Thursday at schools near Parkland, Florida, where a gunman killed 17 people at a high school a day earlier, authorities said.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters that law enforcement would classify copycat attempts or pranks as real threats requiring serious investigation. Threats that aim to use up resources or make light of the situation will not be tolerated, he said.

"We will investigate this and charge anyone accordingly with the maximum charge we possibly could, for doing something so horrific, so pathetic," Israel said.

A day earlier, a 19-year old former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, killing 17 and wounding 14, authories said. The suspect, Nikolas Cruz, was in custody and faced a Thursday afternoon court appearance.