A threatening message left as a comment on a Julian Edelman Instagram post has reportedly resulted in the arrest of a 14-year-old Michigan boy.
According to the New York Times, Edelman was alerted by another Instagram user who sent him a direct message stating "Dude, there is a kid in your comment section says he's going to shoot up a school, i think you should alert the authority." Edelman, who was visiting his former Patriots teammate Danny Amendola in Texas at the time, notified his assistant in Boston, Shannen Moen.
Moen scanned through hundreds of comments on Edelman's most recent Instagram post and found the message "I'm going to shoot my school up watch the news" left by user "its_ya_boii_aidan."
Moen called 911 and an officer soon arrived at her house. The officer saw the screen shot of the message and notified her chief, who sent two dectives to Moen's house. After making an emergency records request for account information, authorities were able to locate the boy who'd posted the threatening message in Port Huron, Michigan.
Using the boy's email and IP address, detectives called police in Michigan and arrived at the boy's house.
“He was brought down to our department and during an interview he made admissions to the threat,” said Port Huron Police Captain Joseph Platzer.
Platzer says the threat involved Central Middle School where the teenager is enrolled.
Two rifles belonging to the boy's mother were found within the residence, according to Capt. Joseph Platzer of the Port Huron Police Department. It’s unknown what his intentions really were.
Police have no idea why the 14-year-old made the threat on Edelman’s Instagram account.
The teen was arrested and is now facing a felony charge of False Report of a Threat of Terrorism. He’s facing four years in custody.
“We take all threats very seriously,” said Capt. Platzer.
"When I told Julian, he was in shock," Moen said. "We're very lucky the Boston cops were all over it, very lucky the Michigan cops were all over it."
In a statement, Edelman's representatives told us, “Julian wants to thank the individual on his social media account who alerted Julian and his staff to this alleged threat. This individual’s thoughtfulness and awareness may have helped avert another tragedy. Julian is very grateful for the quick action of law enforcement authorities in Massachusetts and Michigan, and he thanks all law enforcement for their efforts in helping all of us become more aware and vigilant.”
Edelman has since reached out to Instagram user "jesseyi3," the person who tipped him off to the message, according to Moen. The user is yet to respond, Moen said.
"Thankfully, this kid said something," Edelman said. "We're going to send him something, a care package, just for his work. He's the real hero."
Edelman, 31, has spent his entire eight-year career with the Patriots.