Police: 17-year-old used Twitter to threaten to shoot up Apex High School

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Brady Whitaker, a former Apex High School student, has been charged with false reporting of mass violence on education property. (Photo Courtesy: Raleigh-Wake City-County Bureau of Identification)

A former student has been charged with threatening to "shoot up" Apex High School. Police in the Wake County town say they got a call Monday from a concerned parent who had seen a threat posted on their child's Twitter account.

An arrest warrant says 17-year-old Brady Whitaker tweeted, "Boutta shoot up Apex High." He is now charged with a felony -- false reporting of mass violence on education property.

When ABC11 visited Whitaker's home in Cary we spoke with his father. Bob Whitaker says his son made a stupid, immature mistake. He says he's confident his son would not have followed through on the threat which he called "idle."

But Apex Police Department Captain Ann Stephens says, "We don't know that's it's an idle threat and we have to take it very seriously. And, you know, there's been so many school shootings nationwide over the last ten years that we don't want one of those to be here. And so everything that comes in like this we are absolutely going to take serious and we're going to follow up on it and, if need be, we're going to make charges like we did in this case."

Wake County Public School System officials say Whitaker is a former student at Apex High School and withdrew in October. He has several arrests on his criminal record but none for violent crimes.

Whitaker's father says he understands why police take social media threats against schools seriously. And, he adds, now his son does too.

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