Exclusive | Father of Florida boy accused of school shooting threat breaks down when asked about arrest

The father of a 10-year-old Florida child suspected of threatening to shoot up his school sobbed Tuesday as he battled to comprehend his son’s unexpected arrest even as officials revealed firearms were discovered in the family home.

At this moment, he does not feel comfortable saying anything as he does not want to make a mistake, an emotional Dereck Marquez sobbed when questioned about charges that his son, Daniel Issac Marquez, threatened to bomb Patriot Elementary School in Cape Coral. Before ending the brief conversation, Marquez, 35, discussed seeking counsel for his kid. 

As per an arrest record, Marquez told Lee County deputies he was “hoping to meet with law enforcement” after learning of his son’s text-message shooting threat.

However, Daniel had access to firearms at his Cape Coral home, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno stated.

Marceno added, there were firearms in his house, adding that Daniel’s father legitimately possessed them. He is not sure how they’re hidden, but obviously, making that threat, there are weapons in the house, so it adds a whole other element.

Marceno said he didn’t know what kind of firearms were at the Marquez home, but Daniel reportedly shared a Google image of four AR-style rifles he claimed to have purchased and advised his pal to “get prepared for water day” — a school-sponsored event in which children participate in water sports.

Marceno stated that “the last thing we want to do is put a 10-year-old or a youngster in handcuffs. However, I must remain consistent with that message, which is: Fake danger, real consequence.” “I’m returning to the old school.”

Marceno urged parents to talk to their kids about mass shootings, such as the one that murdered 19 fourth-graders and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, and to emphasize the necessity of avoiding making “false threats” to anybody.

Marceno remarked that he liked the parents to assist them. Sit their kids down and talk to them. Discuss what they see on the news with them and tell them, ‘Look, we realize you can joke about, you’re a child, you’re 10, 12, 15, but a bogus threat, a joke, is no longer a joke.’ It will have serious consequences.

Daniel, who was accused of threatening to commit a mass shooting in writing, will be held in juvenile prison for 21 days. Marceno said his family had appointed counsel ahead of a June 13 court appointment.

Daniel’s parents, who live apart, have both talked with police. According to Marceno, there is no sign that Daniel has any mental health difficulties. The sheriff said he has received a flood of calls since Saturday’s arrest, which was videotaped and put on Facebook by department personnel.

“I’ve received several phone calls and text messages from parents,” Marceno added. “First and foremost, and appropriately so, I am worried. They are terrified to take their child to school.”

Teachers, students, and professors must all be ready to attend school, according to Marceno, who also stressed the need for “zero tolerance” when it comes to reported school threats.

“They want law and order, and they have faith in me and my family members that when they kiss their child goodbye in the morning, their child is in excellent hands, safe, and will come home,” Marceno explained.

The sheriff also reacted to those who denounced the footage of Daniel’s arrest released on Saturday.

“I understand why some people are offended – it’s a 10-year-old, after all.” We have no intention of putting a 10-year-old in handcuffs. But, without a doubt, when a 10-year-old, 12-year-old, or 18-year-old pulls the trigger on a handgun, the outcomes are the same. That threat must be taken seriously.”

Marceno stated that as long as crimes occur, he will continue to publish mugshots and provide footage of suspects being apprehended.

“We’ll make sure we convey a clear message of zero tolerance,” Marceno added. “Many parents reported to me, ‘My child witnessed the youngster marching in handcuffs.’ They saw his mugshot, and now my child is scared and knows not to make any threats.’ And we want to hear that message.”

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