SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Two students were arrested from The Villages Charter Middle School after law enforcement and school officials learned of a plot to initiate a mass shooting at the school.
School officials and the school’s resource offer became aware of rumors circulating among students on Tuesday
The rumors indicated that a student was planning a mass shooting on Friday.
Witnesses indicated that some students had been warned not to come to school on that day.
A 13-year-old student alleged to be planning the attack was intercepted by authorities as he attempted to arrive at school on Wednesday. He acknowledged conversations involving the plot and referenced the mass shooting at Columbine High School.
During the conversation, officials learned of a second student’s potential involvement and located that 14-year-old student on campus.
No weapons were found on either student or in their bags or lockers.
The 14-year-old student also referenced the Columbine shooting and informed officials that the two had planned an attack, which involved what they would use as a signal to open fire.
Both students were arrested at their homes on Thursday during the service of search warrants.
Both are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and were placed into the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Firearms were recovered from both suspects’ homes.
The school will see an increased deputy presence on Friday, but no more arrests are anticipated.
The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office said they are grateful for the students brave enough to speak out about the plot.