Florida High School Student Nicholas Godfrey Arrested For Soliciting Hit On Staff Member On Instagram
A Florida high school student faces felony charges after allegedly attempting to hire somebody, via Instagram, to take out a faculty member.
Nicholas Godfrey, 18, is accused of sending Instagram direct messages to a fellow student at Fivay High School in Pasco County.
According to Tampa ABC affiliate WFTS, Godfrey solicited one of his classmates writing, “I need a guy who could kill someone” and indicating he would pay $100,000 to the student for the faculty member’s head.
“No joke, I need him eliminated as soon as possible,” Godfrey allegedly wrote.
The police obtained a warrant for Godfrey’s Instagram, and were able to trace the messages through an IP address associated with Godfrey’s residence.
Godfrey was upfront with the police and admitted to sending the messages while showing them to law enforcement on his phone.
Godfrey claims he wasn’t serious and that it was just a joke. In addition, Godfrey also didn’t appear to have the means to carry out the threat, authorities said. Nevertheless, police said what he did was a crime.
“There’s going to be zero tolerance. You threatened a member of a school district who’s out there trying to do their job to educate children and be part of that process, we’re going to come hunt you down. We will track you down,” said Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.
In addition, the Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning also called on parents to be more aware of their kids’ behavior online.
“I have pled with parents to know what your kids are doing on social media and who they’re talking to. It’s a community effort. The issues at Fivay High School, I will tell you, oftentimes schools get blamed for what’s going on, but I will tell you we are a microcosm of the communities in which we serve,” Browning said.
Police did not identify the school staffer who was the target to Godfrey’s threat, but said that he had been provided additional protection as a precaution. The school also says they plan to bring an additional resource officer to campus next week.
Godfrey was arrested for attempting to solicit murder and booked in the county jail, according to authorities.