Prosecutors: Nutley teen made shooting threat, Minecraft replica of school

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NUTLEY -

Authorities say an Essex County student accused of making an online threat against his high school posted a video created in the popular video game Minecraft showing a shooting at a replica of the school.

NJ.com reports that Joseph Rafanello's avatar can be seen walking through a virtual version of Nutley High School, complete with lockers and the sound of gunshots in the background.

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The new information was discussed Wednesday during a detention hearing for the 18-year-old. A judge rejected prosecutors' request to keep him in custody until his trial, ordering that he instead be placed on home detention.

Rafanello was charged with creating a false public alarm for a video that spurred the closure of Nutley schools Feb. 16. The video shows teens firing guns and children in a classroom, according to authorities.

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office announced a crackdown on school threats after several incidents at schools across the county, including a separate incident at a Nutley school.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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