18-year-old Florida student offered hitman $100,000 to kill school staff member: 'I need him eliminated'
Nicholas Godfrey who sought a professional killer on Instagram was charged with first-degree attempt to solicit murder
Nicholas Godfrey, an 18-year-old student at Fivay High School in Hudson, was arrested and accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill a staff member at his school. Godfrey was charged with first-degree attempt to solicit murder, Pasco County Sheriff's deputies said, according to NBC News.
Detectives said they have messages Godfrey wrote on Instagram seeking a professional killer. "I need a guy who could kill someone," Godfrey allegedly wrote in one of the messages, offering $100,000 "for the guy's head."
"No joke, I need him eliminated as soon as possible," he had said. Even though Godfrey had no real intentions of killing the staff member, Pasco County Sheriff, Chris Nocco, explained the threat itself was a serious crime.
"As the victim and their family, imagine getting that notification form the sheriff's office, 'Hey we need to protect you,'" Nocco told reporters on Friday. "This individual may have thought it was funny, maybe thought they were committing a joke. This is not a joke."
"The very sad part of the situation is that when the investigators, when Detective Dacey, got there, the parents were shocked because the parents had no idea and that’s a sad reality of what’s going on." Officials investigating the case said Godfrey has no discipline record and that were no documented issues and intended target. It was not clear if the Florida teen had hired an attorney by Friday noon. He was released on bail on Friday.
"It ruined his life by a simple threat on social media," Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning said. "I was elated that we had apprehended him but very saddened, very saddened by what this young man has just done to the rest of his life."
"I have begged with students, I have pleaded 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 often time schools get blamed for what’s going on but I will tell you we are a microcosm of communities in which we serve," said Browning.
According to the New York Post, Fivay principal Jason Joens said on Facebook said: "I want to thank the Pasco Sheriff’s Office and Corporal Josh Peters for their intensive work and resources used to identify and arrest this student".
"We know people sometimes struggle with the boundaries of social media, so it’s important to report any concerns you see. Thank you to staff and students that shared their concerns,” he added.