BOCA RATON, FL - December 21, 2020 - According to online news reports posted on several news websites, including cbs12.com, two custodians working at the J.C. Mitchell Elementary School in Boca Raton, Florida, were arrested by Palm Beach County Deputies. The two men were arrested and booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on gun charges after one of the men allegedly brought a rifle to school, and the other custodian took a photograph with the rifle at the school. The two J.C. Mitchell Elementary School custodians allegedly created a photo that was later posted on the WhatsApp social media app.
According to an arrest report published by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, the two named men were placed under arrest after one of the suspect's Whatsapp photos shown him at the school with the rifle.
In the photograph which was published on the WhatsApp app, the suspect was observed wearing a polo shirt with the School District of Palm Beach County logo. According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrest report, the photograph shows one of the suspects with the rifle slung across his upper body and in the downward position. The arrest report also stated that the man in the photo was "holding the buttock of the rifle with his right arm." The report also states that the man appeared to be "standing in what looked like a school campus. A ladder and metal coverings on the frame of the wall were seen in the background."
When the custodian in the photograph was questioned by law enforcement about the photograph, the custodian admitted to posing for the photo. However, the suspect stated that the rifle belonged to the other custodian and suspect in the criminal case.
According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office arrest report, the suspect, who was being questioned by law enforcement, stated to the authorities that he waited until all of the students were off-campus before he brought the rifle to the school to show his co-workers. The suspect also allegedly stated that he was not aware that he could not bring the rifle to the school even when the students were not at the school. He stated that his only intention was to show the rifle to his co-workers. The suspect stated that he was the one who took the photograph of the other suspect in the case.
Both school custodians have been charged with "possessing or discharging weapons or firearms at a school-sponsored event or school property." The two suspects were arrested and then taken into custody by Palm Beach School Board Police.