Three Lakeshore High teenagers are under arrest for planning a school shooting, which was to occur next Monday, the first day of the new school year. All three juveniles were 15 year old males.
Deputies became aware of the plan on July 17th, when school officials notified the Sheriff’s Office of the existence of a group, called “Day Zero,” members of which were all students at the school.
Sheriff Strain credited school officials for helping to avert a potentially deadly event. “We should all be very thankful for the incredible partnership the Sheriff’s Office shares with Superintendent Trey Folse and the leadership within the school system. Were it not for this alert administrator, we may have faced a very tragic first day of the school-year,” Strain said.
An investigation immediately began to determine the validity of the threat. Several students were identified as members of the group. During interviews with the students, they made no attempt to deny their involvement with the plan and admitted their intentions. All three were cooperative with investigators.
Investigators learned the students had a detailed plan for procuring weapons and bringing them to school Monday. They intended to kill any law enforcement officials at the school who tried to stop them and then collect their weapons. At least one student was named as a target in materials collected by investigators.
Searches of the three boys’ homes yielded computers and other evidence; analysis on the computers is on-going.
Arrest warrants were obtained for the three teenagers earlier this week. All three turned themselves in to Sheriff’s deputies. The first was taken into custody Wednesday; the second and third surrendered to deputies yesterday. All three have been booked into the Florida Parishes Juvenile Detention Center with one count of conspiracy to commit terrorism. Additional charges may be forthcoming. A bond hearing for the teenagers will be held Monday afternoon to determine if they are to remain in custody.
The Sheriff’s Office will station extra personnel at the school on Monday; although, deputies believe all individuals involved with the plan have been identified and are in custody.
Sheriff Strain urged parents to remain vigilant when interacting with their children. “If a parent notices any type of suspicious activity involving their kids, we ask them to call us immediately. We take these kinds of threats very seriously and investigate them all fully,” Strain said.