Home Emergency Management News Florida Teenagers Arrested On Suspicions of Planned Mass Shooting

Florida Teenagers Arrested On Suspicions of Planned Mass Shooting

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By Kimberly Arsenault
Contributor, EDM Digest

On Thursday in Florida, two teenagers were arrested after plans for an alleged shooting were uncovered by authorities. The two central Florida teenagers are suspected of plotting a mass shooting that was to occur on Friday at their school, the Villages Charter Middle School in Wildwood, Florida.

Authorities became aware of the threat after rumors began circulating around the school about a proposed mass shooting on Friday. Upon investigation, authorities also found that warnings had been given to certain students not to go to school on Friday.

Investigating the Proposed Plan

An investigation into the proposed plot began on Tuesday after several students, whom the Sumter County Sheriff's Department noted were "brave enough" to come forward, reported what they had heard. An officer assigned to the school, along with school officials, alerted authorities after hearing of the mass shooting plot. Once they learned the identity of one individual involved in planning the attack, who is 13 years old, authorities prevented him from entering the school on Wednesday and questioned him regarding the plan. The other teen, a 14-year-old was found on campus and also questioned. The suspects both allegedly referenced the 1999 Columbine shooting in their statements, and the 13-year-old informed officials of the signal that would be used to open fire.

A search of the student's bags and lockers did not reveal any weapons, however firearms were discovered during a search of both suspects' homes on Thursday. The Sumter County Sheriff's Office placed the teens, whose names have not yet been released, under arrest on Thursday.

Normal Class Schedule on Friday

Meanwhile, school officials noted that classes were being held as scheduled on Friday at the Villages Charter Middle School, although an increased number of sheriff's deputies were planned, noting that safety was the number one priority for the school.

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Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.