Tennessee police have charged two sixth-graders with conspiracy to commit murder after authorities found a hand-drawn map describing their plot to shoot students and faculty on the last day of school.
Investigators uncovered the students’ plan after a school resource officer at South Cumberland Elementary School in Crossville alerted authorities about a rumor of a possible “hit list,” according to a news release.
“We take any threat to students and school faculty very seriously, and we will respond, investigate and take swift, appropriate action to manage each threat,” Cumberland County Sheriff Casey Fox said in the release.
Police arrested the students on Friday. They were placed in the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Facility where they remain. Since they are juveniles, authorities have not released the names, ages, or gender of the students involved.
What was their plan?
School officials said on Monday in a release that the students had planned to hide the weapons in the school’s locker room.
On May 31, they intended to enter the school through its back door, retrieve the hidden weapons, and start shooting students and staff members. A hit list was not found.
The pair planned to commit suicide after completing the plot.
According to officials, the children had discussed their plan multiple times over the previous two weeks.
What did school officials say?
The school’s director Janet Graham said in a release that safety is the school’s top priority.
“Our first and most important responsibility is to ensure the safety of our students and staff,” Graham said. “It was determined that at no time during the investigation students or staff were believed to be in any immediate danger.”
The students’ parents have cooperated with authorities and school officials, the sheriff said.
Authorities searched the homes of the students and found no weapons or other evidence.
District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway said the cases would be handled in juvenile court. It’s not immediately clear when the students are expected to appear in court.