If you're really serious about planning something like a heist in the movies, you always want a miniature scale model of the building to plan out your caper. One teenager in Nutley, New Jersey did just that only he wasn't planning a heist, he was planning to shoot up his school.
An Essex County assistant prosecutor told a judge Wednesday that Joseph Rafanello, 18, planned out an intricate attack and he even had a scale model of the school that he created in the Lego-like video game Minecraft.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/92d8313561788c9aaad57a60b403471bff2d98a6ae16e6b870e60fcc739b541a.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Screenshot from Instagram video Credit: Instagram</span>
An investigation into Rafanello began after he posted an ominous video on Instagram showing himself at the shooting range, that in itself wouldn't have been so suspicious if he hadn't added photos of a school building to the video. The video prompted a daylong closure of all district schools in the area on February 16.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Tonight, the district administration became aware of a security threat. The police are actively investigating. As it gets later in the evening, we have decided to err on the side of safety and close schools tomorrow, February 16, 2018. Read more: <a href="https://t.co/zh3ojZvW3A">https://t.co/zh3ojZvW3A</a></p>— NutleyPSD (@NutleySchoolsNJ) <a href="https://twitter.com/NutleySchoolsNJ/status/964361773905100803?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 16, 2018</a></blockquote>
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In another video posted to Instagram, this one featuring Rafanello's Minecraft creation, a player's avatar can be seen walking through the virtual school which even had lockers. At one point in the video, the avatar opens fire on the people standing by the lockers.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/052aa0586f5d3fd3e589fa78f6032658796a4cbf544170223fa5cfeb86855cbf.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: Instructables</span>
Rafanello's defense attorney, Alexandra Briggs of the state Public Defender's Office, said there was "absolutely no evidence that my client is the person who created (the Instagram) video." She did not dispute that he had posted the video on his account.
Superior Court Judge Peter V. Ryan decided to rule against the prosecutor's motion to keep Rafanello jailed into his trial after he was charged with creating a false public alarm. The judge did, however, order Rafanello placed on home detention with an electronic monitoring device.
Related coverage: <a href="http://www.thegoldwater.com/news/19589-Researchers-Schools-Are-Safer-Than-The-90-s-And-Still-One-Of-The-Safest-Places-For-Kids">Researchers - Schools Are Safer Than The 90's And Still One Of The Safest Places For Kids</a>
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