Isaac Holmes is a standout football player for Coral Shores High School. File photo

An 18-year-old Upper Keys student is in jail on a half-million-dollar bond after deputies said he threatened to kill a Key West teen in a Snapchat post that prompted a March 12 lockdown at Key West High School.

Isaac Rodney Holmes, 18, a senior standout football player at Coral Shores High School, was arrested March 18 on a felony charge of intimidation, which Florida law defines as sending “written or electronic threats to kill, do bodily injury or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism.”

A week before his arrest, Holmes posted a video on his Snapchat account that tagged a Key West teen with the sentence, “w8 for u gon see cheeto.” 

“Cheeto” was the nickname of Garrett Hughes, the 21-year-old Key West man and former KWHS athlete, who was fatally shot behind the former Conch Town bar on North Roosevelt Boulevard in the early hours of Feb. 13, 2023, after the Super Bowl. 

It was more than the words in the Snapchat video deputies were concerned about. In the video, Holmes appeared to have a gun concealed in his pants, Monroe County Sheriff’s deputies said. 

Holmes said he had a BB gun in his pants during the video, but added that he threw it away because he was afraid Key West students would screenshot the Snapchat video and call the police, according to the arrest warrant. 

On March 12, school officials and police feared Holmes, having threatened to kill the 17-year-old Key West student, was headed to KWHS on a bus with a sports team coming from Coral Shores High School for an event. 

Locking down the high school at 2100 Flagler Ave. took about 30 police officers along with school staff, “which resulted in a high number of resources due to Holmes making the threat,” the arrest warrant said. 

The victim, whom Keys Weekly is not identifying, told deputies he saw the video with the threat on the night of March 11. 

Deputies obtained an arrest warrant for Holmes on March 14, two days after the KWHS lockdown. 

Key West police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said the lockdown ended with “no reason to believe a suspect was on the scene” at KWHS. 

Crean said that at 1:30 p.m. on March 12, police dispatch took a call from a male who said he was sitting in a car in front of KWHS and was going to shoot people. While police were responding to the call, they learned of the social media threat, she said, describing the threats as separate instances. 

Crean said the phone call was likely an act of swatting – a hoax call threatening dangerous crimes, made to send a large police presence with SWAT teams to a location. Often, the caller makes it appear as if the call is coming from a victim at the location.

Isaac Rodney Holmes in his jail booking photo. MCSO/contribute

Holmes has had prior trouble

At press time, Holmes remained locked up at the county jail on Stock Island on a $500,000 bond. His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. on April 9 before Monroe County Judge Mark Wilson at the courthouse in Key West. 

Holmes is under a no-contact order that forbids him from contacting the juvenile victim in any way, or coming within 500 feet of the victim’s home or Key West High School.

“Holmes has been involved in several altercations at Key West High athletic events,” MCSO’s arrest warrant states, and school officials across the Keys are familiar with him.

This isn’t Holmes’ first brush with law enforcement. 

On Oct. 23, 2023, Holmes was arrested on a burglary charge and misdemeanor theft, but the case record is sealed as a juvenile case. 

Holmes was charged as a juvenile because he was 17 at the time of the crime, Monroe County State Attorney’s Office spokesman Steve Torrence told Keys Weekly.

Gwen Filosa
Gwen Filosa is The Keys Weekly’s Digital Editor, and has covered Key West news, culture and assorted oddities since she moved to the island in 2011. She was previously a reporter for the Miami Herald and WLRN public radio. Before moving to the Keys, Gwen was in New Orleans for a decade, covering criminal courts for The Times-Picayune. In 2006, the paper’s staff won the Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news and the Public Service Medal for their coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. She remains a devout Saints fan. She has a side hustle as a standup comedian, and has been a regular at Comedy Key West since 2017. She is also an acclaimed dogsitter, professional Bingo caller and a dedicated Wilco fan.