Florida students arrested, accused of plotting Columbine-style shooting at middle school, police say

Southeast

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — Two students were arrested after they police say they planned a mass shooting at a Florida school, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

The students, ages 13 and 14, face conspiracy charges to commit a mass shooting at Harns Marsh Middle School, WBBH reports.

Sheriff Carmine Marceno said that another student told a teacher that one of the teenage boys could possibly have a gun in his backpack. When one of the boys was searched, officials didn’t find any weapons. However, a map of the school was found with markings showing where the middle school’s cameras were, the sheriff said.

Deputies say they learned the boys were studying the Columbine High School massacre and how to make and obtain pipe bombs and guns off the black market.

While searching the boys’ homes, the sheriff’s office found a gun and multiple knives.

Marceno said the situation could have been another Parkland shooting during his press conference and praised his deputies for stopping any potential bloodshed.

The sheriff’s office said in total, deputies responded to the students’ homes almost 80 times.

NewsNation affiliate WFLA contributed to the report.

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