Two Florida middle-schoolers held on accusations of planning mass shooting

Florida authorities have arrested two middle-schoolers on accusations of planning a mass shooting, The Washington Post reported.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said the two male teens were arrested last week after a Harns Marsh Middle School teacher notified authorities that one of them could be carrying a firearm in school. 

Authorities said they discovered the teens had a map with markings that indicated the location of school interior cameras, had looked up ways to purchase firearms in the black market and researched how to build pipe bombs, according to the Post. 

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The teens, ages 13 and 14, were charged with conspiracy to commit a mass shooting and both underwent mental health assessment before being transferred to a Lee County jail. They are now being held at a juvenile detention center, the Post noted.

According to a redacted court document, witnesses told authorities about the teens sharing their intent to commit a mass shooting a week prior to their arrest. 

Marceno also said the pair were “extensively studying” the 1999 Columbine High school massacre, where two gunmen killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher before killing themselves, the Post reported. 

Authorities conducted a search warrant in the suspects' homes, finding a gun and several knives.

“I’m certain that my team of dedicated deputies and detectives acted promptly, investigated thoroughly, and prevented a very violent ... act,” Marceno said.