LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Two Florida teens who “took an interest” in the Columbine High School shooting are accused of plotting to carry out a school shooting, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said a teacher from Harns Marsh Middle School in Lehigh Acres reported Wednesday “concerning information” she received from a student about an eighth grader who possibly had a gun in his backpack.
“No weapons were located in the bag. However, a map of the school was located. The map contained markings indicating the location of each of the school’s interior cameras,” Marceno said.
The sheriff said the investigation continued and detectives learned two students were “involved in a plot to carry out a school shooting.”
“Detectives learned the students took an interest in the Columbine High School shooting. They were extensively studying to learn more about the incident and the shooters. Detectives also learned the students were attempting to learn how to construct pipe bombs and how to purchase firearms on the black market,” he said.
Marceno said search warrants were executed at the teens’ homes where detectives found “disturbing evidence,” including a gun and several knives. The sheriff said deputies have responded to their homes before and following their interviews with the teens, Marceno said they are being evaluated at a mental health facility.
“I’m certain that my team of dedicated deputies and detectives acted properly, investigated thoroughly and prevented a very violent and dangerous act from being carried out,” he said. “This could have been the next Parkland massacre, but we stopped them in the planning stages.
The two teens are each facing a charge of conspiracy to commit a mass shooting.