Two Florida middle schoolers who allegedly planned to carry out a mass shooting attempted to recruit other students to join them, according to police.
Two male middle schoolers who attend Harns Marsh Middle School, one 13-year-old and one 14-year-old, were arrested last week after it was discovered that they had made up plans to carry out a shooting and had researched how to build weapons like bombs.
Both were charged with conspiracy to commit a mass shooting. After they were arrested, both suspects underwent a mental health assessment.
Citing the arrest report from the Lee County Sheriff's Office, CNN reported that the boys carried out their recruitment effort "during classes, in the cafeteria, and through Zoom virtual meetings."
According to the arrest report, the suspects "both approached each of the students and verbally asked them if they wanted to participate in the school shooting. All the students declined to take part."
According to authorities, the two students told their classmates that their inspiration was the Columbine massacre in 1999. They also reportedly said that they planned on shooting themselves after they had shot their classmates.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said that authorities found several knives and guns at the suspects' homes after a search warrant was carried out.
Both suspects appeared in court on Sunday and were sent to the Southwest Regional Juvenile Detention Center, CNN reported. They will remain at the detention center for 21 days, during which they will not be allowed to have contact with each other or their school.
A court date has been set for Sept. 27.