Mom speaks out about teenage son charged with making threats
APPLETON, Wis. (WLUK) -- Family say it's a joke turned bad for 17-year-old River Erdmann.
"I feel that our life and his life has been turned upside down, said Erdmann's mom, Cheyenne Carpenter.
Carpenter said her son doesn't deserve to be behind bars.
"He's not that kind of child," she said. "He's not somebody that would go into a school and shoot a school up."
According to the criminal complaint, Erdmann sent a photo of what looked like an assault rifle to his Snapchat group with a caption that said "Damon 2.0."
Seymour police say "Damon 2.0" refers to another student who brought a weapon to school, causing a lockdown.
Some students reported the conversation to police.
Officers later determined the weapon in the image was actually an airsoft gun. The orange tip wasn't visible due to the quality of the photo.
The criminal complaint said Outagamie County sheriff's deputies searched Erdmann's home but only found airsoft pellets and the magazine.
According to the document, Erdmann stated that everyone in the group chat was joking about a school shooting.
Erdmann said he was being sarcastic when he texted "Shoots these totally deadly rounds bro. They're like 50bmg bullets but in a ball. Definitely a threat everyone."
The conversation showed another person responding "100%."
According to the document, Erdmann stated that "in the moment he thought it was funny but knows it is now a lot more serious than he intended it to be."
"I feel that he's been really wrongly accused over a sarcastic remark," said Carpenter.
Erdmann's mom said it's a teachable moment for all students.
"Really watch what your putting on social media, I can't stress that enough," said Carpenter.
His next court date has not been scheduled. If Erdmann is found guilty, he faces up to four years in prison.