The two Florida teenagers arrested last week by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office after their plans to carry out a mass shooting were discovered have allegedly tried to bring other students into their plot, CNN reports.
Harns Marsh Middle School’s students aged 13 and 14 have carried out their recruitment approaching students during classes, in the cafeteria as well as through virtual meetings on Zoom and asking them to participate in the school shooting.
Three of the approached students, who declined to take part in the boys’ plan, told the authorities that were interviewing them that the boys had been talking about the shooting for over a week, telling their classmates that their inspiration was the Columbine massacre in 1999.
According to testimonies and evidence found, they had a map with surveillance cameras, a natural gas line and shooting locations marked with the school cafeteria being the main shooting location and planned to target bullies after creating a diversion using gas.
The teens planned to obtain weapons on the black market, but CNN reported that they have also researched how to build weapons like bombs and they also allegedly said they’re planning on shooting themselves afterwards.
Both boys were charged with conspiracy to commit a mass shooting after they underwent a mental health assessment following their arrest and were later sent to the Southwest Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
They’ll remain there for 21 days during which they’re not allowed to contact each other or their school, while a court date on their case has been set for September 27 in 20th Judicial Circuit.