Escambia County officials make arrests after school threats

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) - Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said in a press conference Friday that there's been a rash of calls about threats to local schools.

Morgan says on Thursday night, deputies were alerted about individuals sending comments over Facebook about shooting up Escambia High School, Pine Forest High School and Pensacola State College.

Morgan says 23-year-old Gabriel Brooks Harvell generated the first post. He says the suspect has an outstanding warrant for stalking. 

Morgan says other individuals shared those Facebook posts, and they have been contacted. Morgan says any threat towards a school will be taken very seriously.

Pensacola police say Friday morning information was received by a parent of a student at Workman Middle School that another student shared an image over social media alluding to a school shooting. The parent told the administration and then the police were alerted. That resulted in the arrest of a 13-year-old male. 

Escambia County Superintendent of Schools Malcolm Thomas says guns do not belong in the hands of students.

"We've had more weapons found this school year than we've had in the past couple of years," Thomas said. That's unacceptable. If you bring a weapon to school, you're going to face the most serious consequences I can issue as a superintendent."

Joanna Cope is the mother of two kids that go to Workman Middle School.

"It's a good thing that most schools are not accessible," Cope said. "There's locked doors and things of that nature but I do think see-through backpacks and metal detectors are extra steps that need to be taken."

Officials say they're urging parents to keep their guns away from their children. Lock them up and hide the key so they can not find them. 


Mobile County

Baldwin County

Northwest Florida