2 Tennessee 6th-graders charged in plot to shoot up their school

April 30, 2019
A school resource officer uncovered an alleged plot to attack students and teachers at South Cumberland Elementary in Crossville, Tenn.

Two sixth-grade students in Tennessee have been charged in connection with a plot to carry out a shooting attack at their school.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the two students, whose names have not been disclosed because they are juveniles, face charges of conspiracy to commit murder in connection with their alleged plan to shoot students and faculty at South Cumberland Elementary School in Crossville, Tenn.

The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office says a resource officer at the school heard a rumor about a “hit list” of students to be shot in a future school shooting. The school brought in a special threat assessment task force to investigate.

“Our first and most important responsibility is to ensure the safety of our students and staff," Schools Director Janet Graham said in a news release from the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. "It was determined that at no time during the investigation students or staff were believed to be in any immediate danger."

Investigators did not find a hit list, but did find a hand-drawn map of the school and a plot between the two students to hide weapons in the school locker room.

Investigators say the students planned to enter through the back door on the last day of the school year, retrieve the weapons and begin shooting faculty and students before committing suicide. 

The investigation revealed multiple conversations between the students in the past two weeks in preparing the plot. Deputies searched the students' homes for weapons and other evidence relating to the plot, but found no weapons in either home.

Parents of both students cooperated with school administration and law enforcement, the Sheriff's office says.

Both students are in custody at the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Facility.

“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," says Sheriff Casey Cox.

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Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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