Tybee teen denied bond following weekend arrest

Tybee Island (WSAV) – A Tybee Island teenager was denied bond this morning in juvenile court. He was arrested over the weekend after police say he was planning to buy a gun to kill three people.

“I haven’t worked a case of this severity in quite some time,” says Tybee detective Lieutenant Bertram Whitley.

Lt. Whitley adds that the safest place the teen can be now is behind bars.

“When you have a juvenile that is possibly involved in making threats to harm other people the safest place he can be is in custody that way he is monitored all the time. He’ll have no contact with possible witnesses or victims or anything like that.”

A week ago, Tybee Island police were tipped by someone familiar with the teen that they were using the social media app Snapchat to find a gun. Police then began an investigation that turned into an undercover operation.

“Using an application like that does bring us some challenges that we don’t see from Facebook or Instagram or anything like that. So there’s been some challenges that we expect to try and get this information from Snapchat but it shouldn’t be that big of a problem,” Whitley says.

Whitley says the police had to move quickly because they had past history with the teen.

“There are, or have been particular indicators from this juvenile from things he has done in the past that led us to believe that maybe he is capable of doing something like that. That’s why we had to act so quickly.”

They scheduled a meet up with the teen Friday night at Jaycee Park. Police then arrested the teen.

He was arraigned in juvenile court Monday morning. Lt. Whitley tells us the teen has been denied release as well as bond. Bond was denied on the premise the judge found the teen a harm to the general public.

Tybee PD is working to locate the messages from Snapchat in which the teen was telling others about his plan to buy a gun and use it on two adults and another young person.

“You can send and receive messages on there that don’t exactly get saved on someone else’s device so in my opinion it’s the perfect application for somebody to do that, that way in the even that they are hoping that they don’t get caught,” says the detective.

A trial date will now be set.

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