Two Harns Marsh middle schoolers accused of plotting school shooting | News, Sports, Jobs

A tip from students to a teacher was quickly passed on to the administration and school resources officer at Harns Marsh Middle School, which resulted in two students being arrested for allegedly planning a school shooting.

The students are 13 and 14.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said everyone was charged with conspiracy to mass shooting.

Marceno said one of his top priorities has always been safe children and safe schools, which means zero tolerance.

“Yesterday a teacher from Harns Marsh Middle School received information about an eighth grade student,” he said during a press conference. “The information alleged that the eighth grade student may have had a gun hidden in his book bag. The teacher immediately alerted the school resources officer and the school management. “

The student was removed from class and an administrative search was carried out. Marceno said no weapons were found in the pocket; however, a map of the school was found.

“The map had markers showing the location of each of the school’s indoor cameras. We take every tip and every threat seriously, so we didn’t stop there. “ he said. “Investigators from our criminal department of the youth service have taken over the investigation. During the investigation, the detectives identified two students who were involved in a conspiracy to carry out a school shootout. “

Marceno said detectives learned that students were interested in the Columbine High School shooting.

“You have dealt intensively with the incident and the shooters. The detectives also learned that the students were trying to learn how to make pipe bombs and how to buy firearms on the black market. “ he said.

Search warrants were carried out on both of the student’s homes. Marceno said evidence gathered included a gun and several knives that he called regarding.

Both teenagers are “Known to the MPs” He added that together, MPs answered calls in their homes nearly 80 times.

After questioning the young people, the detectives found that both met the criteria for an assessment in a psychiatric facility.

“I was crystal clear, our children will be safe. We will investigate every lead and threat. And we will react with zero tolerance. “ said Marceno. “Those responsible for real or fake threats will be held accountable. In this case, I am sure that my team of committed representatives and detectives acted immediately, investigated them thoroughly and prevented a very violent and dangerous act. “

He said a false or real threat, you are going to jail.

The two students will be evaluated and given support with mental health problems, he added.

Marceno credits the teacher who passed the information and acted quickly to notify the SRO and school administration. He said her relationship with the school district and Superintendent Dr. Ken Savage is excellent with the common goal of protecting the children.

Savage thanked Marceno for the agency’s quick response and efforts to protect students and staff. He said the response shows the strong partnership with the school district and the sheriff’s office and the importance of working with law enforcement in schools with administrators.

“As soon as the students reported the potential threat, the teacher reported it to the administrators, who immediately called in the school’s resource officers. Together they cleared the classroom and examined. The students were safe at all times. I recommend the students who have come forward to report on the potential threat and the swift action taken by staff and SROs to prevent damage to our campus. “ Said Wild. “You are all heroes. All of the threat assessment and emergency training made a difference in the outcome of this incident. The safety of our students and employees is the focus of everything we do. “

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