Wake teen charged with threat to ‘shoot up’ career academy in Raleigh

Joshua Austin Robinson
Joshua Austin Robinson CCBI

A 16-year-old high school student from Knightdale was arrested Wednesday evening for waving a gun in a Facetime conversation and saying he would "shoot up" the Wake County school system's Vernon Malone Career College and Academy, according to an arrest warrant taken out by Wake Technical Community College police.

The felony charge against Joshua Austin Robinson, a 10th-grade student at the academy, alleges that he was “brandishing a firearm in said conversation.”

The Facetime chat happened Monday, according to the arrest warrant that campus police took out Wednesday.

Police said other students at Vernon Malone reported the threat.

Wake Tech and school-system security officers had extra security at the school Wednesday, Wake Tech spokeswoman Laurie Clowers said. That was when police were told the shooting was supposed to happen, they reported.

Wake Tech police said they seized a long gun – meaning a rifle or shotgun – and ammunition from Robinson’s home.

Knightdale police Chief Lawrence Capps said police there helped locate Robinson because he lives in the town, and he turned himself in to authorities at the Knightdale police station.

County arrest records had indicated he was taken into custody at the Cross Point Community Church on Steeple Square Court in Knightdale.

Robinson was held in lieu of $15,000 bail pending a court hearing.

The felony charge against Robinson is making a false report about mass violence on educational property.

The Vernon Malone school, in a converted Coca Cola plant at 2200 S. Wilmington St. in Raleigh, is a career and technical school that is part of the Wake County Public School System.

Students take regular high school courses and, as juniors and seniors, take courses from Wake Tech faculty in career areas that include biopharmaceutical technology, collision repair, cosmetology and simulation and game development.

Wake Tech campus police act as the school resource officers for the campus and investigated the case.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT