Photo: ETIENNE LAURENT / EFE
MIAMI – Two teenagers, ages 13 and 14, were arrested Thursday and charged with conspiring to carry out a mass shooting at a Lee County school. in the southwest of Florida.
Conner Pruitt and Phillip ByrdHarns Marsh Middle School students were arrested after another student at the school told a teacher that he suspected a boy was carrying a gun in his backpack, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said at a news conference today.
While no weapons were found in the eighth-grade boy’s backpack, they did find a map of the school that detailed the location of all security cameras, Marceno added.
During the investigation, the detectives of the Police of the said county They identified two students involved in the alleged plot to commit a massacre at this school.
They further discovered that the two boys were interested in the Columbine massacre, ua massacre at a Colorado school that in 1999 left 15 dead, including the two perpetrators, and 24 wounded.
The sheriff indicated that Pruitt and Byrd were trying to learn how to build explosive devices such as tube bombs (pipe bombs) and how to buy firearms on the black market.
In the search that was carried out in the houses of the two teenagers, detectives found a pistol and several knives. Both will be formally charged with “conspiracy to commit a mass shooting,” he said.
“This could have been the next Parkland massacre (…) and we were a second from (another) Columbine here,” said Marceno, who was convinced that the swift action of the agents prevented a “very violent act from taking place.” and dangerous”.
On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, now 22 years old, confessed to the police that he had shot with an AR-15 assault rifle at those he found on his way at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, north of Miami, a massacre that claimed 17 lives.
The Prosecutor’s Office is going to request capital punishment for the young man and the defense has repeatedly said that Cruz is willing to plead guilty to be sentenced to life imprisonment and not to death.