New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman is prolific on his personal Instagram account, and his interaction with those who follow him might have prevented a potential tragedy.
As first reported in The New York Times, Edelman was visiting former teammate Danny Amendola in Texas in late March when he received a direct message on Instagram that read, “Dude, there is a kid in your comment section says he s going to shoot up a school, I think you should alert the authority.”
In an interview with the Times, Edelman explained that he notified his assistant in Boston, who found the message that read: “I’m going to shoot my school up watch the news.”
Edelman’s assistant then called 911, and the message was ultimately traced to a 14-year-old boy in Port Huron, Michigan. When police arrived at the boy’s home, according to the Times, he admitted to posting the threat. Authorities also found two rifles that belonged to his mother, a police chief told the Times.
The boy was taken to a juvenile-detention center and remains there after being charged with making a false report of a threat of terrorism.
Edelman plans to send something to the Instagram follower who alerted him about the threat, telling the Times, “He’s the real hero.”
“It’s not good enough anymore to disregard comments like those as offhanded,” said Don Yee, who is Edelman’s agent. “All of us, including players, are learning together to take these kinds of things very seriously.”