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Instagram image of Lego assault rifle, threat lead to 14-year-old’s arrest

Courtesy of @SDSheriffA San Diego-area high school student was arrested at his home in Lemon Grove, California, Tuesday evening on charges of terroristic threats after posting a picture of an AR-15-style assault rifle made of Lego on social media.

According to a Wednesday statement released by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the unnamed 14-year-old boy posted a picture around 10pm Tuesday evening on Instagram with the message, “Don’t come to school tomorrow.” Another student asked him to take the image down, but he refused. “It was learned he had access to hunting rifles,” the SDCSD wrote. “The investigation is ongoing to determine if this student has access to other weapons. He was booked into Juvenile Hall on a felony charge of making a criminal threat.”

Catherine Martin, a spokeswoman for Grossmont Union High School District, tweeted Wednesday:

Overnight, @SDSOSantee arrested a @WHHSWolfpack student for making terrorist threats after he posted a photo of a Lego rifle on social media with a threatening message. We thank law enforcement for their quick action. @SDSheriff takes any threats to our schools very seriously. — PIO Catherine Martin (@GUHSDPIO) February 28, 2018

The arrest, which was first reported by the San Diego Union Tribune, comes weeks after a former student at a Parkland, Florida high school, Nikolas Cruz, 19, shot scores of students at his former school.

He has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder. The incident has renewed national discussion on gun regulations. On Tuesday, national retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods said that it would no longer sell assault-style rifles and will raise the minimum age to buy firearms at its stores from 18 to 21.

UPDATE 6:56pm ET: The headline has been edited to make clear that it was the combination of the image and the written message that resulted in the arrest.

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