A possible shooting at a middle school in Lee County, Florida, was prevented when authorities apprehended two pupils who were reportedly planning an assault on the building.
According to Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, the boys, ages 13 and 14, were charged with conspiring to commit a mass shooting after a sheriff's department investigation this week discovered that they were developing a plan and conducting extensive research on the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, in which two students killed 12 others and a teacher.
"This could’ve turned disastrous. We are one second away from a Columbine here," Mr. Marceno said during a press conference Thursday.
After students raised the possibility that an eighth-grade kid was carrying a pistol in his bag at Harns Marsh Middle School in Lehigh Acres, located east of Fort Myers, a teacher at the school notified administrators and the school resource officer on Wednesday, according to authorities.
Students were evacuated from the classroom, and an administrative check turned out a map of the school with markings showing the positions of interior cameras, but no weapon, according to Mr. Marceno, who claimed the search turned up nothing.
Detectives were able to track down another student who was suspected of being involved. Officials say they discovered weapons at the boys' residences, including a gun and knives, as well as indications that they were attempting to learn how to manufacture pipe bombs and buy firearms on the illicit market, according to the investigation.
According to Mr. Marceno, the adolescents both fulfill the requirements for examinations at a mental health institution. He said that the lads were already well-known to the sheriff's department, which had attended to calls at their residences about 80 times in total.
On Thursday, Lee County Superintendent Ken Savage expressed gratitude to kids, instructors, school personnel, and the county's resource officer for acting swiftly in the face of a possible danger.
On Friday, a representative for the school system refused to provide any more information.
Written by: Bryan Dijkhuizen (Full rights belong to Political Sense)
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