Florida Middle School Students Arrested – Allegedly Plotted To Commit Mass Shooting
According to multiple reports, two middle school students in Florida were arrested after allegedly plotting to commit a school shooting. The arrests were made after a teacher at the school received a tip about one of the boys possibly carrying a gun in his backpack.
According to a report, 13-year-old Conner Pruett and 14-year-old Phillip Byrd are students at Harns Marsh Middle School in Lehigh Acres, FL. Another report adds that students at the school alerted a teacher that one of the boys may have had a gun in his backpack.
After administrators carried out a search, they did not find a gun. Instead, they reportedly found a map of the school in the backpack. The map was marked with locations of cameras across the interior of the school.
Authorities began investigating and found that the boys were somehow involved in a plot to carry out a school shooting. The local sheriff even said, "We were one second away from Columbine here", according to 'The Guardian'.
Upon further investigation, authorities found more evidence at the boys' homes which included guns and knives. Authorities also discovered that the boys were trying to research how to acquire firearms on the black market and also how to make pipe bombs, per one report.
Sheriff Carmine Marceno said that the boys were "extensively studying" the Columbine shooting. He also added, per a report, that local authorities knew both boys well with over 80 combined visits to their respective homes.
One of the boys' mothers, Carrie Tuller, spoke emotionally of her son's situation in court saying, "He's just a little boy. He didn't think this was really serious".
Some of the latest reports have added that the boys may have attempted to recruit other students into their plan. Apparently the boys weren't very quiet about their alleged conspiracy, as one teacher ended up overhearing their conversation and tipped off the school resource officer. Other students told their parents that the boys had mentioned the plan to them.
The fore-mentioned report adds that the two teens may have specifically been targeting bullies for the alleged attack.
The two teenagers are currently being held in a secure juvenile detention center, while receiving court orders to stay away from the school and avoid all communication. They are set to appear in court again on September 27th.
See the full report from Winknews.com below.