Two Florida teens have been arrested on Thursday, January 26th on suspicion of planning a school shooting, according to the local authorities. Some students apparently were instructed not to attend classes on Friday when the attack was supposed to unfold. Students at The Villages Charter Middle School did not remain silent and instead informed the authorities about the alleged attackers’ plans.
At this point, Sumter County Sheriff’s Office has not released the names of the perpetrators to the public. However, the Florida teens have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and are currently into the custody of the state’s juvenile justice department.
The brains behind the operation is a 13-year-old student which has been plotting to open fire at The Villages Charter Middle School together with another 14-year-old individual. Upon learning about their plans, local authorities confronted the 13-year-old student which admitted to the plan, referencing the 1999 mass shooting at Colorado’s Columbine High School. He also admitted talking to another student about his plan. Authorities soon identified the second suspect and found him on campus. The 13-year-old student was arrested at his home on Thursday in Fruitland Park, and the 14-year-old at his home in Wildwood, approximately 45 minutes northwest of Orlando.
According to the authorities, no weapons were found on the suspects. Also, even though law enforcement officers combed through their lockers at school and backpacks, they still came up empty. However, police officers were able to retrieve firearms from their homes. At this point, authorities did not reveal who owned the guns.
After the assailants were safely placed into custody, the school returned to its regular schedule on Friday. However, the sheriff’s office dispatched more deputies than usual, said the school’s educational director, Randy McDaniel in a letter addressed to parents. He also added that the law enforcement officers present at the scene concluded the students were safe and were never in imminent danger.
While he announced classes will be held according to the regular schedule on Friday, Randy McDaniel said he completely understood if parents prevented their children from attending school that day.
“We believe Friday’s school day will go well, but as is always the case, we respect any parent’s decision regarding their own children’s attendance”, read the educational director’s letter.
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