Teen Gets Probation for School Mass Shooting Threat
Social media posting aimed at Walter Johnson High; 10-year prison term suspended
VIA MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE
A Montgomery County man who made threats against Walter Johnson High School was sentenced Friday to five years supervised probation.
Luis Amilcar Cabrera, 19, of Rockville, was charged with threatening mass violence in October 2018 after posting a Snapchat photo of himself carrying an AR-15 rifle with loaded ammunition magazines and the words, “school shooter.”
Cabrera also posted “I hate WJ” and “Ha, ha, I’m going to shoot up the school” on social media.
Circuit Court Judge Margaret Schweitzer sentenced Cabrera to 10 years in prison, all of which is suspended except for time served, and five years supervised probation, including nine months wearing an ankle monitor, and 100 hours of community service.
Cabrera is prohibited from going within 1,000 feet of the Bethesda high school and cannot have any contact with witnesses or school staff members involved in the case, except for the Pupil Personal Worker assisting him with obtaining a high school diploma.
Defense attorneys and state prosecutors reached a plea agreement in March stipulating no further incarceration. Cabrera has been in a county detention center since Oct. 19, 2018.
“This was just stupid,” defense attorney Barry Helfand said. “His stupidity had been born out by 232 days in jail.”
Cabrera appeared in a dark green prison jumpsuit. He answered biographical questions from Helfand, then apologized to Walter Johnson students and staff when given the opportunity to address the court.
“People at the end of the day should feel safe and confident at school,” Cabrera said.
Cabrera dropped out of school after 11th grade. He left his parents’ house and moved in with friends in Towson, where the incident took place. The guns in the photos were not his, but were legally owned by a member of the home.
Walter Johnson students reported the social media posts to the school’s resource police officer, which led to a police investigation and eventually Cabrera’s arrest in Towson.
Cabrera said he hopes to get his GED then attend Montgomery College to study macroeconomics.
State prosecutors asked for a full five years of ankle monitoring, but Schweitzer ruled that was too long. She said the sentence will give him time to mature while also quelling safety concerns at the school.
“I want you to assimilate back into our community,” Schweitzer said. “… This is your opportunity to change the narrative of what people know you for.”
Charlie Wright can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org