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6th grade students charged with plotting Tennessee school shooting

Posted at 2:08 AM, Apr 30, 2019

Two 6th grade students in Tennessee have been charged for allegedly planning a school shooting, according to officials.

The students allegedly plotted to bring weapons to the South Cumberland Elementary School in Crossville, Tenn. to shoot their classmates and faculty on the last day of school, according to a joint press release by Cumberland County Schools, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office and the Crossville Police Department.

Last week, the school resource officer caught wind of a rumor about the existence of a "hit list" that contained the names of students to be shot, officials said.

While investigators did not find a list, they did uncover a hand-drawn map as well as a plot to bring weapons. The accused students allegedly planned to hide the weapons in the locker room, to be used on the last day of school, officials said. They allegedly intended to enter the building through the back door before shooting faculty and students and dying by suicide before law enforcement intervened, according to the release.

The investigation also revealed "multiple conversations" between the two students in the past two weeks in which they devised the plot, officials said.

After the rumor was uncovered, "immediate steps" were taken to ensure the safety of students, but authorities determined that students and staff were not in immediate danger, according to the release.

No weapons were found at the school or in either of the students' homes, and their parents have been cooperative in assisting school administration and law enforcement, police said. The students were arrested by Cumberland County Sheriff's deputies and transported to the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Facility. They were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and will remain in custody until they appear in juvenile court.

"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 Cox said in a statement.

The students' identities were not released. They will be charged as juveniles, prosecutors said.