By Susan Edelman and Dean Balsamini
A teen was busted for allegedly threatening to shoot up his Queens high school in the wake of the Robb Elementary School massacre in Uvalde, Texas.
“I’m going to shoot the school. Like in Texas. Be ready,” 18-year-old Forest Hills High School student Diego Sarmiento allegedly scrawled on a desk, according to a criminal complaint filed by Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
It was one in a series of shooting threats to disrupt New York City and Long Island schools over the past week.
The chilling message at Forest Hills HS was discovered by another student on May 26 — two days after the slaughter of 19 kids and two teachers in their Uvalde classrooms.
When confronted by school administrators, Sarmiento admitted, “I was playing around and just wrote it,” the complaint states.
Sarmiento was arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat; criminal mischief; making graffiti, and aggravated harassment.
The next day, the NYPD sent mobile metal detectors to the school, teachers said. The department did not issue a press release, keeping the incident under wraps until The Post asked about it a week later.
Principal Paul Wilbur informed parents and guardians about the chilling incident the next day, insisting that students and staff were “safe at all times.”
“Threats to our school community will not be tolerated and will be addressed swiftly,” he wrote.
DA Katz said in an email, “Our hearts had not even begun to heal from the horrific school shooting in Texas when, as alleged, the defendant made similar threats right here in Queens.”
The next day, on May 27, a 16-year-old student at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School (MELS) in Forest Hills was arrested on charges of aggravated harassment in another twisted threat.
The student told classmates he wanted to “shoot up the school,” and was spotted in a classroom searching online how to buy guns, officials said. The unidentified 16-year-old was released to his parents and charged in juvenile court.
In that case, mobile detectors were not dispatched to the school, located in the Queens Metropolitan High School campus.
Sarmiento’s lawyer did not return repeated messages.
More alarms were raised on Friday. A 15-year-old boy was accused of making threats against Commack Middle School using Instagram Live on May 31, prompting a lockdown, Suffolk County Police said.
In New York City, the Robert F. Kennedy school on the Upper East Side conducted a lockdown after a 12-year-old girl allegedly told friends on a group chat, “I’m going to shoot up the teacher and the school” following an argument with a teacher.
The chat, found by parents on one of the kid’s Instagram feeds, included a photo of a gun, cops said. The parents reported the threat. The girl was evaluated at a hospital and not charged.
Those incidents came a day after a 13-year-old boy was nabbed for threatening to carry out a shooting at Westhampton Beach Middle School.
A Forest Hills teacher described the week as “incredibly traumatic” for staff and students.
” Nobody feels safe,” she said. “The smallest thing like an announcement over the loud speaker or a phone call to the classroom and you think it’s a lockdown. This is nowhere near normalcy for kids or adults after the two years we just endured.”
Read the full article on the NY Post website at https://nypost.com/2022/06/04/nyc-teen-threatened-to-shoot-up-a-queens-school-like-in-texas/