Florida High School Students' Plan To Commit School Massacre Foiled; Whistleblowers Alert Police, Two Teens Now In Custody
Two Florida students were taken in by authorities after their plan to commit a school shooting was foiled by whistleblowers. The whistleblowers alerted police about the planned Friday massacre on Tuesday.
The teens were said to be two boys in the ages of 13 and 14. According to the whistleblowers, the two male students gave other people a heads up regarding their plan to shoot people at Villages Charter Middle School. They told the other students that they should wear white shirts and say the safety word "Eugene" so they will not get shot.
Sumter County Sheriff's Office revealed the 13-year-old suspect was apprehended by authorities after he attempted to get to school on Wednesday. The sheriff's office added in a statement, "At the time, he acknowledged conversations involving the plot and referenced the mass shootings at Columbine High School." The 13-year-old went on to say a 14-year-old student was involved in the plan and that other suspect was located at the school, ABC News reported.
The 13-year-old also told authorities that they planned an attack that included a signal to start firing. The signal is said to be a dropped pencil and the teens said they planned to start shooting at the gym.
There were no weapons found on either of the suspects. Their bags and lockers were also searched. Upon further investigation, firearms were found in the home of the 13-year-old in Fruitland Park as well as the Wildwood home of the 14-year-old. One of the weapons found is an AR-15 assault rifle while the details of the other weapons found were not released to the public yet, NBC News reported.
The 13-year-old told investigators he had been depressed and was the one who joked about the shooting. He also told the investigator he just wants to die but the circumstances surrounding the teen's depression was not revealed.
It remains unclear how many whistleblowers alerted the police but Sumter County Sheriff's Office said they are grateful for those students who had the courage to talk to authorities about the matter. It was also not stated how these whistleblowers are related to the suspects.
Both the unidentified students were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. They remain at the Department of Juvenile Justice.