Two Florida fifth-graders brought a wrench, pliers and other tools to campus as part of their plot to kill a third student and escape in a golf cart.
Details of the Dec. 14 incident were outlined in a 32-page Tallahassee Police Department report obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat. The two suspected students, 10 and 11 years old, have been suspended and recommended for expulsion following the after-school incident, according to Leon County Schools.
“This obviously is a very serious matter. We were aware the two boys plotted to harm another boy at the school,” Superintendent Rocky Hanna said. “There is zero tolerance in our school system for violence or threats of violence. The individuals who participate in these types of behavior will suffer severe consequences, as these two young boys.”
Principal Kim McFarland told officers the two Roberts Elementary School fifth-graders “planned and put into effect a plot to murder another student.”
The 11-year-old victim and one of the students who planned to harm the victim had previously been involved in an altercation.
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On Dec. 10., one of the suspected plotters approached the victim and “told him he was going to kill him.” The victim told an administrator who put the student in timeout.
Three days later, a girl told the victim a secret, which the victim didn’t want to hear, according to the police report. The girl later told the two suspected instigators the victim was spreading rumors about her. They then threatened the victim that they were going to “take care of him and kill him.”
Another student told investigators the two suspected plotters drew a map of a section of the campus where there was a portable classroom and no cameras. The student said they later changed their mind and were going to take the victim to the garden instead.
The next day, one of the students brought a bag to school with a wrench, baseball batting gloves, adjustable clamp pliers, and a multitool with a blade on it. The student showed it to other students. One of the students told the group “snitches get stitches,” a bystander told investigators.
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Another student told investigators the two students said they had the gloves so there would be no fingerprints. They planned to use the pliers to cut the lock on the gate and run away in a golf cart down Centerville Road after harming the victim.
After school, the two suspected plotters approached the victim and asked, “Do you want to go to the secret hideout at the garden?” The victim said no because he heard they were going to harm him.
The victim ran to the after-school supervisor and said the two students were going to kill him. The two students were called to the principal’s office and their bag searched. The student who brought the tools to school told McFarland the tools were his father’s and he was trying to return them to him.
The students denied wanting to kill the victim but intended to beat him up. The students were issued juvenile civil citations.
A week after the incident, McFarland sent a Listserv email to parents. She said many fifth-grade students knew about the incident but didn’t report it to parents or teachers. McFarland said she met with fifth-grade students to discuss the importance of “see something, say something” and urged parents to stress the same message.
Follow Ashley White on Twitter @AshleyyDi.