THE VILLAGES- Two students that attend the Villages Charter Middle School were arrested on Thursday after officials learned of their plot of a mass shooting at the school.
On Tuesday, school officials and the resource officer were notified about a rumor that was circulating through the student body which stated that there was going to be a mass shooting planned by a student at the school and was expected to happen on Friday, January 27. Some students were warned not to attend school on this day, according to witnesses.
On Wednesday, one of the suspects, a 13-year-old male, was met by authorities when he arrived at the school. During questioning, he confessed to having conversations about the plot and also made remarks about the Columbine High School massacre. He notified authorities of another student’s involvement in the plan and they moved quickly, locating the other suspect, a 14-year-old male, on campus.
The 14-year-old also confessed to having conversations about a plan to commit a mass shooting at the school. He, too, referenced the Columbine High School massacre and also explained what they were planning on using as a signal to open fire. Neither suspects had any weapons on their persons or in their bags or lockers.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office arrested the 13-year-old student at his residence in Fruitland Park and the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office arrested the 14-year-old student at his residence in Wildwood. Firearms were found at both students’ homes. Both students are being charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder and were placed in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Authorities do not anticipate any more arrests but will be increasing deputy presence at the school on Friday as a precaution.
“The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office is grateful for those students brave enough to speak out about the plot. Their heroic actions may have prevented a deadly tragedy and loss of precious lives,” stated by the SCSO in a press release.